Chicken coops come in all shapes and sizes to help provide the space your poultry needs to live a healthy, productive life. What is important to consider when building your own coop is the room you are providing your chickens and the style of coop that fits your particular needs. We all want the best chicken coop for our flock, so why not build your own?
Smaller flocks often allow you to be a bit more flexible in your coop designs, and a popular option is the use of a chicken tractor – or mobile coop. If you have the space, you can easily build a small coop that you can wheel around from day to day to provide fresh ground for them to scratch on. The following portable chicken coop plans provide free inspiration, ideas, tips, and step-by-step instructions to make your very own.
Basic Components of a Portable Chicken Coop
If you have ever wondered how to put wheels on a chicken coop, this is the article for you. Although a portable chicken coop doesn’t need to have wheels, it does make it easier to move from one spot to another. The basic component of a chicken tractor, the common name for a mobile coop, includes a coop for roosting and laying, a run of some sort for exercise, and a rigid enough structure to move them with relative ease.
Setting the “tractor” on wheels or skids is a popular way to move the coop and run combo from one area to another every 24 to 48 hours. Generally, these structures are more compact in nature and are for 6 chickens or less on average, but if you are looking to provide space for 12 chickens or more – you definitely can alter plans to make something work.
Who a Portable Coop Is For
Chicken tractors are best for large yards and smaller flocks. This way you can provide a new area for your hens to forage in each day without putting too much stress on the landscape. Even if you do not have a large area, they can be a great compact alternative to a larger coop. Just be sure to provide an extra run so the chickens have a little more space for exercise.
The Ultimate Chicken DIY-er
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For everything you need to know about DIY chicken coops, look no further. This book has 20 plans for you to build everything your backyard flock could need. From mobile chicken tractors to egg recipes. Complete with color photos and a shopping list for each plan. This could be a good place to start if you’re not too sure what kind of coop would fit your flock.
An A-frame design is a popular choice for those looking to make their chicken coop portable. Most of the weight lies near the bottom portion of the structure, making it easier to move. The space is designed efficiently by placing the run under the coop itself.
Another simple A-frame, this option allows you easy access to the roosting and nesting boxes for simple cleaning and egg collection. It’s a design that can be made to fit a wide variety of flock sizes and can also be easily connected to an additional run if needed.
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Simple, sturdy, straightforward. This chicken tractor has everything your chickens need, and nothing else. It’s designed to house four to six chickens, is not too heavy, and the optional wheels make it easy to move around your yard.
Many portable coops do not sit flush to the ground in order to make them easier to move. These plans allow for 4 wheels so you can simply push it from one area to the next without having to lift or strain.
This classic A-frame idea has ALL the amenities, including a handle for lifting and pushing, durable wheels, and a large living area. This type of A-frame also works well in harsh weather as it is easy to cover the bottom areas for further protection and place food and water in the coop itself.
Although you may have to get creative in how you move this style of coop, it is a great option for when you are looking to move a coop seasonally to take advantage of dormant garden areas or fresh grass. A bonus of this practice is free fertilizer for next year’s garden!
This little coop looks like it would be right at home on a beachfront. With a porch-style run and cute raised living area, both handles and wheels make it easy to move from location to location. The great thing about DIY projects is you can make exactly what you want.
The Walk In
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If you’re looking for something that you move less frequently, these plans could be what you’re looking for. Because this is a fully DIY option you could easily add wheels to the bottom for more mobility. You could also leave the bottom open so the chickens can scratch on the ground. The original plans house eight hens, have a full-sized door for easy access, and offer plenty of natural light and ventilation with the open roof design.
Making the Rounds
This coop on wheels forgoes the traditional attached run (although it is easy to add one on) and can be moved to wherever you need it! Built as the perfect, compact mobile henhouse, it can be closed up each night for safety, brought into a shed or garage, and then wheeled back out each day.
Compact Hen House
Compact, upright, and perfect for a few hens, this design is made to minimize space while still allowing enough room for your chicken’s creature comforts. The great thing about chickens is that they roost in perches above the ground, so you can take advantage of vertical space.
PVC pipe is incredibly lightweight and easy to move. This traditional style coop may not be the best design for day-to-day movement, but it certainly is easy enough to move from time to time, season to season, or whenever you decide to give your chickens a new view.
The Chicken Ark
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If you’re short on space and need a small coop to fit your flock, you’re in luck. This compact, lightweight chicken coop houses up to three hens. Small enough to fit in the bed of your pickup truck and mobile enough to move around your yard (it has wheels), these chicken coop plans are ideal for the small backyard chicken flock.
This mini cottage on wheels is exactly why you may want to embrace DIY chicken tractor plans. The amount of freedom you have to create exactly what you want is endless. Want your chickens to live the high life? You’ve got it! Looking to make a miniature version of your own home? Totally doable!
Basic, adorable, and easy to build, take a look at how simple this perfectly portable A-frame style coop is to build. This is a great design that is spacious and allows your flock room to grow over time, or add a larger run when needed.
On the Go
Take your chickens just about anywhere with these durable, large ties and strong, supportive frames. This coop is made to mimic a hutch and is completely enclosed with both an indoor and outdoor area. You can open an external door to allow them to forage and free-range before returning to the safety of the coop to rest and lay.
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The plans for this chicken tractor come with all the usual bells and whistles; predator-proof, easy egg collection, and easy clean-up. But this one is specifically designed to be lightweight and easy to move so that you can move your flock to a new patch of grass every day. Or more often if you wish. This chicken tractor fits six to seven chickens.
An old trailer frame is the perfect option for a coop foundation. Why let it rust away or be trashed at a dump when you can repurpose it into your very own mobile chicken wagon? Versatile, this idea has a ton of potential for placement and run additions.
A House in the Woods
Build your chickens a little cabin in the woods that you have always dreamed of. Although these plans work with a more permanent location, it can easily be built on skids or a low trailer to move from one area to another. The height lends itself to adding an additional run as well.
On a bit of a budget and looking for some frugal chicken coop solutions? This article has all you need to start envisioning what you want with what you have. It also helps you plan out your budget to ensure you can get what you need.
Want your chickens to have a barn of their own, but don’t want the size and heft of the design? Take a look at these plans to get the look you desire without all the weight and work. This style is also an excellent option for simple customization, such as outside access to nesting boxes, windows, and decor.
PVC Run Framework
PVC is an excellent material for a lightweight, portable framework. It is durable, can withstand a wide variety of weather conditions, and is simple to piece together and take apart. You can make an easy run to attach to any sort of chicken coop you may have.
Want a unique and totally different look for your chickens to reside in? These instructions for a chicken barrow are easy to follow and only need some basic supplies and tools. It’s a budget-friendly idea and can fit well into any backyard flock.
Ready to Scale Up?
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If your flock has outgrown your backyard, you might need to upgrade to a large coop. This book is considered by some to be the ultimate guide to scalable chicken tractor plans. If you’re interested in pasture-raised chickens and are thinking about scaling up to a commercial scale, then you should consider this book.
At the End of the Day
If you love the idea of having chickens, want to keep them safe, and would like to provide them room to roam, a portable chicken coop could be what you need. Also called a chicken tractor, these mobile coops help utilize the space you have in a yard for a happier, healthier flock.
The styles provided above should help you get started in planning your very own movable space. We’d love to see your ideas, and hear about which models you love! And, as always, please share!