If the needs of your family or business necessitate the design and construction of a portable chicken coop, there are do-it-yourself options available to help you save money and time. When planning the building of a chicken coop you must take into consideration the requirements of space, building materials, and overall design and function. I will guide you through the basic steps that are laid out to help you build the best and most productive structure possible, while ensuring that you spend the least amount of money and time, avoiding the frustrating process of trial and error.
Since the project will be portable by design, you will want to look for the most lightweight building materials possible without sacrificing structural integrity. In many cases, plywood is a feasible building medium for walls and non-support bearing functions. If you choose to use this material be sure to erect stronger but less frequent ribs to the interior of your coop. Tin is a great material to consider for the roof as it provides strength and durability while adding as little weight to the project as possible. Also, consider using second-hand supplies you may have left over from other projects as a cheap alternative to buying new parts and supplies.
Wire or PVC hardware cloth is perfect for flooring because it allows waste to fall through to the ground below, effectively eliminating your need to clean the area regularly. When deciding on the fastening hardware, I recommend using heavy duty nails or brackets instead of cheaper, less durable pieces in light of the fact that the coop will be moved regularly and the strain may cause inferior products to fail.
The overall design will have the greatest impact on the result of your portable chicken coop and therefore it is imperative that you consider all of your needs before beginning construction. Be sure to lay out the interior with the appropriate amount of room for the maximum number of poultry you will house there. For example, if the roost area will be elevated from the ground, provide a small ladder for the birds to climb with. Consider the function of the coop, whether it will attach to a run or remain stand-alone. You will need to engineer some type of docking system if a run will be attached at some point, and this may be as simple as a series of wire tethering poles or window sash clasps retrofitted to the exterior.
Overall, the success of your do-it-yourself portable chicken coop will hinge upon your attention to detail and the amount of ingenuity you are willing to invest into the project. While it is not necessary to be a master builder or architect, some fundamental principles are required in order to fashion a structure that will stand the test of the elements and the rigors of outdoor life. With a sturdy design concept, lightweight but strong building materials, and the understanding of the desired function of your coop building a lasting portable chicken coop should be easy and fulfilling.