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When we moved to Missouri we had to leave our mobile chicken coop, “The Eggmobile” (a la Joel Salatin) behind. Travis had designed and built that coop, but it was just too big to move from Colorado to Missouri. We sold the chicken coop to a good friend and decided to build another coop similar to what we had had before. A mobile chicken coop was a requirement for us, we wanted the chickens to follow the livestock for pasture sanitation and fertilization.
One of the perks of buying an old farm is all of the old stuff comes with it. We have found useful items and junk alike. One man’s junk is another man’s treasure! Parked in the yard near the old milk barn was an old wagon that was in rough shape. The wood was rotten and the tires were worn. Once we tore off the wood, we found that the undercarriage and axle were in decent shape. It was time to repurpose this old wagon into something useful. It was soon transformed into our new mobile chicken coop!
In order to keep the coop low maintenance and for pasture fertilization, we opted for an open floor. We finished most of the floor with welded wire and a second layer of chicken wire to prevent any predators from visiting our chickens. We have had no predator problems and the chickens don’t mind the open bottom of the coop one bit. The open floor makes cleaning the coop a snap, most of the chicken poop goes onto the ground under the coop. We move the chicken coop every day to prevent over fertilizing the ground where we park the coop.
The roosts are made of cedar branches that were cut from cedar trees on our property. Some people use cedar oil to get rid of mites and other insects. Maybe having cedar roosts will prevent mites or other insect problems for our chickens, I’m not sure. Regardless, they look cool and we sourced them from our farm. We haven’t had any problems with mites or other insects, but our chickens are also free ranging, moved frequently and have access to dirt for dust baths which all help keep the chickens healthy and mite free.
There are 2 chicken doors that open from the outside of the coop. There is a string for each door, pull the string to open the door. A clip holds the door open during the day, unclip the string to lower the door closed at night. Since we used an old wagon, the coop is higher off the ground than is typical for a chicken coop. Some ramps were necessary to help the chickens get in and our of their home. The ramps were also made out of cedar branches, mainly because that’s what we had on hand. Since this is a movable coop, the ramps are removable as well. There is a spot just under the coop that we can tuck the ramps into when it’s time to move the coop to a new pasture.
The nesting boxes are accessed from the outside of the coop. I love this feature and makes collecting eggs a simple chore without disturbing any of the chickens inside the coop. The only time we need to go in the coop is to refill their food and check to see if the Plasson bell waterer is working correctly. The Plasson bell waterer is connected to a 5 gallon bucket hanging outside of the coop from the eaves, slightly higher than the waterer on the inside of the coop. The water comes into the bell waterer by gravity, but has a valve so it won’t overflow. Both the feed and water are located just inside the door for convenience.
Once the coop was done, we decided to have some fun and name our coop the “Coop Deville”. Everybody names their chicken coop, right?? Somehow the idea of a license plate came about and Travis had fun designing one for the coop. Chickens living in style lay more eggs, or something like that.
The Coop Deville has been following our livestock for several years now and works great! The old worn tires still hold air and we have been moving the chickens all over our property with our 4 wheeler with no difficulty. The chickens have done their job of pasture sanitation exceptionally well and the pastures have been adequately fertilized. I love that we were able to successfully repurpose an old wagon into a chicken coop. And the chickens? They are happy chickens, eating green grass, chasing bugs and living life to it’s fullest.