Chicken Coop Video Tour (How We Built It)

The Portable Chicken Coop

If you’re tired of…

all the nasty chicken mess in the barn,

pot holes and bare patches of earth from chickens scratching,

having to clean out your chicken house, all the nasty feather/dander/dirt in the air?

Well, a portable coop is your solution! I’m going to share with you how we made our chicken tractor! Here’s our video on YouTube, enjoy and let me know how you like it!

Old running gear with four layers of old paint and in need of new tires and rims

Old running gear with four layers of old paint and in need of new tires and rims

We had our chicken coop in the barn for four years and the air and nastiness was more than my sinus could handle. Fortunately, my Hubby is a talented craftsman and he made us this portable Chicken Wagon Coop that we pull around our pastures.

Basic dimensions of the wagon are 7.5′ x 16′. The side walls are 4′ for the straight part and the roof goes up to 6′ at the ridge. We have about 40 chickens in there and we are not even close to maxing it out. There’s tons of room left.

The base is an old hay or cotton wagon running gear. Refurbishing and finding an old running gear was a big challenge. The very used and old running gear cost us $350, new tires and rims about $400, paint stripper and paint $50, sweat and tears $free 😉 I called around and for a running gear brand new this size with a flooring it was around $5,000 to $6,000 so rigging one up was well worth the effort!

Scraping after applying paint stripper Grinding off three layers of old paint Applying paint stripper to running gear. Removing paint

Building the base

Chicken Tractor Base Wagon Chicken Tractor Base Wagon Chicken Tractor Base Wagon

Framing and roofing the wagon

Framing chicken wagon Framing chicken wagon Framing chicken wagon

Building the chicken nest boxes

Chicken nest boxes Chicken nest boxes Chicken nest boxes

Windows on the wagon

Windows on the chicken coop Windows on the chicken coop Windows on the chicken coop

30 Gallon bulk water tank

IMG_2014 chicken coop waterer  chicken wagon  waterer

150 lb Bulk Chicken Feeder

Chicken coop grain bin Chicken feeder Chicken feeder

Our chickens were use to going back to the barn to roost and we also had geese that wanted to live on our porch. The solution to our transition to their new coop was connecting two temporary electric poultry nets, a quick ground rod and a solar energizer. We can also keep our guard dogs in the pen there when we need to. We have sandy loam (pure sugar sand) and if we don’t get rain we can’t get a good ground. The solution is a five gallon bucket filled with water and a small hole on the bottom that slowly drips on the ground rod.

Electric poultry netting with solar enegerizer

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  1. http://Ricardo says

    Around how much would you say the project cost you? Just bought two wagons one whole and the other needs wheels and a pipe .

  2. http://Eddy%20K. says

    I just wanted to say thank you for engineering such an amazing chicken coop tractor. I have been trying to design something like this for about two years and this is by far THE BEST chicken coop tractor design that I have ever seen. I do have a question that maybe you could answer. Where did you purchase the expanded metal need for the floor? I tried looking online for what you used and I just can not find it “I could be a little blind too =)”.Thank you!

  3. This is great! Thanks for the inspiration . . . which brings me to, do you have the sketchup file available for sale (or free)?

    • Hi Eric, not sure if we still have the sketchup file…we only used it as a basic schematic to visualize the overall proportions of the structure, but we changed the final design a bit and it didn’t really have any detail other than the basic dimensions: 7′-6″ wide; 16′ long (including the nest boxes); 6′ tall at the ridge; 4′ tall at the side walls; windows are roughly half the height of the side walls at +/-2′ tall; front door opening is 2′ wide and about +/-4-6″ tall. Hope that helps…

  4. http://Andrea says

    Thanks for this post! Do you have any trouble with cold in the winter? Also, can you give me the exact dimensions? Thanks again!

    • http://Rashel says

      We don’t have any trouble with winter weather. The dimensions listed are the only ones we’re publishing. Thanks for following our blog! 🙂

  5. http://Nicole says

    Hi, I absolutely love your site and all your amazing videos! With regards to your coop, are Andrew and yourself ok with someone copying it? Yours is by far the best I’ve found so at but I don’t want to step on toes if you don’t want people copying. Thanks!

  6. Thanks for sharing! This was chosen as a favorite on our From the Farm blog hop!

  7. http://Nunda says

    Your site is wonderful! And congrats on your new baby girl! We just got chickens and love this idea for the coop. Also just started buying raw milk and want to start on all the goodies you can use it for. Question – what kind of cream separator do you have and where did you get it? Want to get something that will work well, they aren’t cheap! Thanks and blessings!

  8. http://Korrie says

    Hello, I commented on another page, but then remembered another question – what chicken feed do you all use, and have you incorporated DE? We just buy what’s at our local farm supply, but I feel that we should do better. Our chickens roam everywhere at the moment (eating my new garden, pooping on the porch, you know the drill), but once we move them to a larger stationery coop they’ll only be in a large yard without as much grazing choice. Again, thanks for your input!

  9. http://Lee says

    You said the opening on the expanded metal is 1″. Do you know what gauge thickness the metal is?

  10. http://Robert%20Starnes says

    I like your chicken wagon very much. Do you have the design plans and dimensions you can share to assist me with building the same wagon? Thank you. Robert

  11. Great design. Thank you for sharing it. I am thinking of designing one similar for both ducks and chickens. With different sized nest boxes for the ducks and space without perches for them to hang out without getting chicken poo dropped from above. Do you have any thoughts and suggestions about this. I also have geese. Mostly i leave them out at night protected by electric netting, but need to create space for them to nest once/twice a year. Would it be possible to also include temporary nest boxes for them in the chook house and that way save having to move and construct two poultry houses? Thanks – Wendy from Cooktown, Queensland Australia

    • Wendy, we originally set out with a similar idea in mind…something that both chickens and geese would live in, but our attempts at a design became too complicated and we scrapped the plan and made separate shelters for each. A couple of concerns we had…the larger wagon base that the chicken tractor is built on is pretty high of the ground (near 3 ft.) and our experience with geese is that they need a shorter ramp with a gradual slope to climb into the wagon – they are not very agile; also their nest boxes need to be quite large and we could not find a good place for them on a dual-purpose set up not to mention that geese are said to be very territorial when they are brooding a nest and would probably not like sharing space with chickens (although we have no first hand experience with that – yet). Thanks for your questions!

      • Yes i will just build a house for the ducks and chickens. Our geese only seem to lay at the beginning of our dry season – one or two nestings. It seems to work well the rest of the time just having them sleep inside the electric netting.

  12. Well, I loved you coop so much I decided to build one like it. I have the base built and I’m laying the expanded metal mesh. Just curious, how did you attach the mesh to the studs?

    • http://Andrew says

      Mesh flooring is attached with fencing staples.

      • http://Alex%20Rodriguez says

        Got the coop finished except for paint. It is working wonderfully and the chickens seem to love it. I made a feeder similar to what you guys made but I’m wondering if you have problems with the feed coming out effectively. I find myself having to prod the feed with a stick to get it to keep feeding. I put chicken wire over the feeder because the first thing the chickens did was to lay in their feed. Anyway, just wondering if you had run into the same issue. Most of my chickens are still young pullets so I’ve not switched over to pellets yet and maybe that type of feed will not compact as much.

  13. http://Andrew says

    Ryan, the trick is to use a material that has opening large enough to shed the waste but small enough to provide a surface for the chickens to walk on without their feet going through. Bigger is better as long as the chickens can walk on it. Our chicken wagon has an expanded metal floor that has openings about 1″ wide; the mesh is smaller on the goose wagon…I would recommend the larger size for the chickens if you have a choice. Even then, it will get a little build-up from time to time, but the good thing about the elevated mesh flooring (open to the air below), is that the manure will dry out and when the chickens walk on it, most will crumble and fall through. (It doesn’t stay moist and cake like it does under a stationary roosting system where the manure piles up on the ground or a solid floor). In areas where it tends to accumulate (such as over the solid floor joists) it is easy and quick to occasionally knock it through the floor with a hoe or something similar…again, it is dry and crumbles practically to “dust”. The lowest roosts run just wide of the door opening, so there is room (2.5′ or so) to walk down the middle of the floor to access the back of the wagon, etc.

    Surprisingly, we have only had one chicken fly over the electric netting, and she only did it once. So we have had really good experience with it, considering that half of our flock are game birds and we do not clip wings…

    • Hi, I was inspired by your coop and decided to build one like it. Where did you purchase the expanded metal? Was it raised or flat metal?

      • http://Andrew says

        Alex, we got the expanded metal from a local welding shop…they typically use it for trailer beds, etc. It comes in 4×8 sheets.

  14. http://Ryan%20Recker says

    I’m very interested in building a mobile chicken coop for 12-15 birds. Right now I’m considering using the same base wagon you use in the goose wagon. I’m a little skeptical about the idea that most/all waste falls through the decking. Is this really true? Do you have any problems cleaning out the coop with the roosting ladders immediately in front of the access door? Would you do anything different if you rebuilt the wagon? Do you have problems with chickens getting over the electronet?

  15. http://Rae%20Ellis says

    Love your chicken coop. I have a question about the elec. netting. How big of an area do you have cordoned off ? Also, have you had any trouble with birds of prey swooping down to get your chickens? Any thoughts?

  16. http://Rose says

    Thank you for this! One question, what do you do with the chickens in winter? With the cold air able to come in through the floor does it get too cold?

  17. http://VC says

    Your chickens aren’t eating the feed because the feeder is to high.

  18. Amazing and beautiful.

  19. http://Mary says

    Thanks for this post. Your projects are always inspiring!

  20. http://Mary%20Jo%20Warren says

    Love the chicken and goose wagons. It is so cool how gentle the geese are with your daughter.


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