Also referred to as a chicken tractor or an ark, a portable chicken coop is movable. This allows the chickens to move to a new spot/pasture every day.
Construction of A Portable Chicken Coop
There are diverse ways of constructing mobile chicken coops by using many different materials. However, many of the basic guidelines that go into the making of a regular chicken coop should be followed to raise a brood of healthy chickens in a portable coop. In most cases, the stationary coops are larger than the movable coops.
The easiest method to make a portable chicken coop is to place wheels at one end and provide handles at the other end for the ease of moving the coop and placing it in another location. It can also remain stationary when you do not want to move it.
A movable chicken coop is most useful if constructed with lightweight material so that it can be easily moved around by a single person. However, it should be sturdy enough to keep predators at bay. It is also important to keep the cost of construction reasonable. The A-frame coop made of timber (with wheels fitted) is a strongly recommended model. A good set of plans for a portable A-frame chicken coop are available for download and this model is easy and economical to build.
Benefits of Using Movable Chicken Coops
- Feeding the chickens with a nutritious and diverse diet by placing the coop in different locations results in the production of better quality eggs. The chicken meat will also have a better flavor.
- Moving the coop around the yard keeps the grass trimmed as chickens eat it as part of their diet.
- Because the chickens are moved to a new pasture spot frequently, the requirement for pre-mixed foods is reduced. The natural growth in the garden helps to supplement the diet of your chickens.
- A portable chicken coop is frequently built without a floor, eliminating major cleaning. The birds deposit their dropping directly onto the ground making it more fertile.
- The coop occupies only a small area on the yard. This gives time for the garden to fully re-grow before the chickens feed on that patch again.
- The feeding chickens do their bit by digging and scratching the soil and prepare it for seeds that can be planted. These actions also help to enhance the growth of the existing plants and crops.
- The chicken coop can be moved to safer locations when bad weather arrives: move them to the shade when sunlight is too harsh or under cover if there is a torrential downpour. They can be moved away from muddy areas of the garden to where fresh grass is available.
Note that it can be more difficult to make a portable chicken coop predator proof unless it has a floor. Providing a floor made of wire mesh keeps away the predators while still allowing the chickens to feed through the wire.
We recommend the following portable chicken coop plans: