Providing a safe, warm shelter for your poultry can be challenging AND expensive, though there are other options available, such as turning an old vehicle into a chicken coop. Continue reading below for a full step-by-step guide on how this could be achieved!
Firstly, any type of vehicles such as a bus, car or even trailer of a lorry can be used to make your own coop. The first step is to remove any potentially dangerous and parts which are of no use. This can be the simplest part of the whole escapade. Remove as much from the interior of the vehicle as possible, such as seats and other fixtures. The more room your birds have to roam the better.
Next up is the floor, this should also be removed and a more stable floor for poultry provided. A wire screen is probably the best option and the easiest to fit, as it can be easily slotted over where the floor lay. This will not only protect birds from predators but also allow for any waste/faeces to drop out below. A vehicle with a hitch would be a wise choice, as this will allow you to move the coop when the ground below becomes over-soiled.
Picture - Community Chicken
Next one should install nest boxes. These boxes should be attached off the floor, with a ramp to allow access. Ensure you are clever where you place the boxes and allow for easier access to gather eggs. Some people have attached the nest boxes to the outside of the vehicle, with gaps connecting them to inside the coop. This is a good way at ensuring you can collect any eggs, problem-free.
On the agenda following this, is the building of roosts. This is to ensure your chickens have a place to sleep at night. This can be easily achieved, with the fitting of wooden beams the length of the vehicle. They should be approx. two feet above ground level to ensure plenty of space.
You can also make your own water collection system and fit it to your new coop. This can easily be achieved by fitting PVC from a rainwater harvesting barrel on the roof of the vehicle for example, and then subsequently be fed into the coop. When water is sorted, the next item on the list is feeding trays. We provided numerous ideas of those in the past, which you can see here http://www.thatsfarming.com/news/farm-hacks-feeding. Again, PVC piping is a good option and best served when suspended from the roof and a few inches off the ground using wire. This is to prevent excess waste of feed, through spilling.
Picture - Union Leader
Don’t forget about adding something to allow for power in the coop. Heat lamps and the likes can be needed in times of colder weather, therefore, it would be wise to consider this before completion of the project. It is also always handy to have a light in a coop, especially with fox attacks at night.
Thinking of getting into poultry? Before you go out and splurge, have a look around the farm. You may find something once considered worthless which may actually turn out to be very useful indeed.