I absolutely just love chicken coops, and spent some time drooling over stunning coops on Pinterest before building our own. The plan, a mobile chicken coop to be towed by our ATV and be used with portable electrical fence netting, so our hens could enjoy the seasonal grasses. This mobile chicken coop on wheels was cheap to build and seems to work well.
Not wanting to go broke, most of the mobile chicken coop was built with scrap siding and wood from about our property. The beauty of living on a farm, there’s always a good junk pile to rummage through. I was fortunate my parents had upgraded their ATV utility cart, leaving their old 4×8 trailer no longer used. The 4×8 trailer is light weight and is meant to be towed by a ATV/UTV.
It’s hard to pin down a cost as most of this coop was built from scraps, but if you don’t have a thriving junk pile there’s always great finds on Craigslist. I did purchase new 2×3’s for framing, hinges, latches, one piece of siding, and the rest was from the junk pile. The decorative details was from a thrift store and broken furniture in the junk pile. I kept framing minimal to keep weight down, and it has worked perfectly. The coop is now 3 years old and still going strong and we have horribly strong winds.
Mobile Chicken Coop on Wheels Features
32′ square feet plus nesting boxes, will accommodate up to 8 birds
8’ roosting bar running length of coop, bar is secured with closet brackets so it can be removed for easy cleaning
3 nesting boxes with hinged lid
2 large doors to open the back for easy cleaning
2 windows – hardware cloth was stapled to inside of windows
1 chicken door with retractable ramp
2 Air vents on each end of the coop
Door with retractable ramp
If you happen to have a utility cart or find one on Craigslist the tires maybe wimpy. Weight is not an issue, but thistles are. Our cart was continuously getting flats in our star thistle; however we took off the wheels and headed to the tire shop and they filled it with the no more flat gel and it has fixed the problem (they gelled my jogging stroller too ?).
How to attach framing to cart
Otherwise the utility cart has worked out well. To attach all this framing to the utility cart, I ran 2x4s underneath the cart around all sides. Then the bottom 2×3 framing boards on top of the cart were attached to the 2x4s beneath. This was done by drilling holes through the 2×3’s, down through the cart, and 2×4’s. It was all sandwiched together with washers, nuts, bolts and some screws. The drilled holes were in line with the metal mesh of the cart, so I did not have to drill through metal.
Space & Flooring
This mobile chicken coop for 8 chickens, has 32 square feet of floor space, plus overhanging nesting boxes. Chickens need approximately 4 square feet each, if they have access to a run.
A towable chicken coop makes pasture rotation easy
The nesting boxes are 12” wide x 16” deep x 12” tall. One nesting box can be used for up to 4 chickens.
Chickens also need roughly 1’ of roosting bar per bird. An 8’ roosting bar runs the length of the coop, it is seated in metal closet pole brackets so that the bar can be removed for easier cleaning.
The cart has metal mesh flooring, which we covered with a rubber stall mat, and straw bedding to cover the mat.
All the windows are screened with wire mesh stapled to the interior frame. During the colder months windows can be closed and locked. 2 small vents are at each end of the coop near the roof. All windows and doors can be latched and locked with carabiner to keep out critters.
Tips for Saving Money – How to build a chicken coop on a budget
If you don’t have access to a thriving junk pile, then Craigslist and Habitat for Humanity Restores are great resources. Often you can find free materials on Craigslist, and great prices at Habitat of remnant lumber, sidings, mouldings, and more.
The hinges and latches can add up in price, if you have a Habitat store, they generally have the best prices. When it comes to paint, check with your local landfill or transfer station, many dumps set aside usable paint that’s free for the taking. The cute detailing is from broken furniture, which is can be found on neighborhood curbs. The faux porch posts is from an old wood table, and the shutters is from old fence board. The retractable ramp is a 1×6 that pulls out from the door which is a box made of 2×3. With a little patience and scavenging much of the material can be found for free or next to nothing.
This mobile chicken coop design holds 8 chickens and is cheap, functional, and fun to build. It is very convenient to have a DIY moveable chicken coop on wheels. It is easily towed around with our quad, and is now 3 years old and is holding up well through some very strong windy winters. This was built as a Mother’s Day gift for my mom, but she hasn’t yet started raising her chickens. Unfortunately, my daughter has an egg allergy so we have switched to duck eggs.
Anyhow, one day this darling little coop will have chickens. In the meantime, we have been raising turkeys, very entertaining and social critters. My friend and I built them a crazy mobile contraption too, not quite the success as this mobile chicken tractor though.