It all started with wanting our own chicken eggs. Not those white things you buy in the store, but good wholesome home grown eggs. What we didnít realize was how hard this was going to be!
We started out with a chicken shed and three pens attached to it. The thought was that we would rotate the chickens around and they would always get fresh grass. It didnít really work that way. During the winter time no matter how much we tried, the chickens ate every bit of grass and eventually we had nothing but mud in the pens.
The other problem we had, was the chickens would fly out of the pens and then the dogs would find them. It seemed like no matter what we tried, the fixed pens would not work.
After going through the winter with muddy pens and chicken eating dogs, we started thinking of a mobile chicken coop (also known as a chicken tractor), that could be moved around to fresh grass, but be totally enclosed from dogs and other predators. The first mobile chicken coop we built had the right idea, but was strong enough to hold a full grown bear. By the time we had finished the sixth mobile chicken coop, we felt like the majority of design changes and revisions had been done, including making it lightweight enough to move around.
We now have a fully enclosed mobile chicken coop that the chickens never have to leave. We move the coop to fresh grass every day, which allows the chickens to always have fresh grass and bugs.
As part of the mobile coop, the chickens have a house that they can go in to perch at night, and lay their eggs in the nesting boxes during the day. There is a separate egg door so the eggs can be collected without the chickens escaping. When the chickens lay their eggs, the floor is sloped so the eggs roll toward the egg door.
Each part of the design has been thoroughly thought through on these mobile coops. The exterior is made of maintenance free materials that only require an occasional rinsing. Moving the coops is straightforward using the attached dolly.
The chickens fertilize the grass under the coop during the day, but the floor of the house can be cleaned out occasionally and the fertilizer can be applied onto the garden.