Most tractor coops plans that I have looked at were rated at no more than 8 chickens.  We ended up getting 14 chickens and I needed a tractor coop big enough to house them and light enough that it could be moved around.  I had seen a photo of a coop that looked sort of like a stage coach with a screened run below it.  The finished product that I ended up with is seen in the photo. 

The coop is 8 ft long, 4 ft wide, and 4 ft high (plus the roof).  The nest box attachment add about 2 feet on one end and has three nest compartments.  The watering system consists of a kitty litter bucket on the roof that feeds water via vinyl tubing to a PVC pipe that has four chicken nipples installed in it.  The main floor of the coop consists of half inch hardware cloth that lets the dropping fall through to the ground below.  There is a removable ladder through an opening of the hardware cloth that lets the chicken go down to the ground below to eat grass and bugs.  The whole structure rests on four 10-inch wheels.  In the main compartment there are four 4 ft perches mounted laterally across the side walls.  There is a drop-down door on the back of the nest boxes for access to the eggs.

The coop is comfortably large enough for the 14 chickens.  I was worried about them not having enough roosting space with the 16 feet of perch but it's actually too much.  One time I had seen 12 birds perched on one four foot bar.  I also knew that the 32 square foot of screened ground below the coop is not nearly enough space for the chickens to roam around it.  My plan was to release them regularly from the coop to roam where they want.  The entire coop is surrounded by a 165 ft portable electric netting fence that is energized by a solar charger.  The purpose of the electric fence is to keep predators out and not keep the chickens in.

Step 1: Planning the framework

Since I am somewhat of a klutzy carpenter, I decided to go with a basic structure that was strong and forgiving of mistakes. I wanted something that was strong enough and rigid enough that I could hang things on it.  I decided upon four 4-ft long pressure treated 4x4's to serve as the corner posts.  These were connected to each other by 2x4's and 1x4's.  These connecting boards determine the length and width of the coop.  Since I was shooting for the max to house 14 chickens, I made these connecting boards either 8 foot for the length or 4 foot for the width.  By attaching all these together with nuts and bolts, I was able to get a very rigid structure.  With that in place, I could add sides, a main floor, a nest box, a roof, and wheels. 

Materials needed:

* 2 8-ft pressure treated 4x4's (cut these into 4-ft lengths)
* 2x4's
* 1x4's
* Sheets of 3/8's inch exterior plywood
* 4 10-inch or larger wheels
* Bolts, washers, and nuts
* Deck screws of several lengths
* Lag screws
* Primer paint and exterior paint
* Half-inch hardware cloth for the flooring and for the fenced in bottom run
* 3 foot of allthread pipe for the axles (diameter determined by the hub of the wheels)
* Plexiglas for windows (optional)

I think I paid around $100 for the materials.  It would have been more but I got a great deal on a sale at Harbor Freight for the wheels and was able to take advantage of various materials I had laying around.  You are going to pay the going price for wood.  I paid a lot at Lowe's and Home Depot for hardware such as large bolts.  I later discovered that you can buy these in bulk at Tractor Supply where they sell nuts, bolts, washers, and lag screws  at $1.99 a pound.  (This obviously refers to purchases in the US and maybe Canada).
I wouldn't go out and buy all these materials at once based on my list.  I'd start out with what's needed for the basic shell and then get more materials as you make your personal adaptations.
I like your design of chicken coop. I need one because some chicken coops are very expensive some $250
Thanks so much for this! I'm browsing for designs. Couple questions: I gather chickens share nests, if you only need 3 for 14 chickens? <br>Also, re portability - what do you think about having wheels on one end, and handles on the other, so you can move it wheelbarrow-style? Weight would be an issue, maybe, with that amount of wood. <br>Thanks again!
Thanks for the post. I've looked at a number of tractor designs, and yours is the best for my needs. I live on a plateu and get quite a bit of wind. The wieght of the coop keeps it stable, and keeps preditors out. Got one complete and working on two others, then the wife wants one for the rabbits. <br> <br>Keep up the posts! <br>
Being that axle cutting is labor intensive why not just leave in one piece and thread through and through? I did not read why you cut them up because I like scanning more than reading.
The allthread bar was only 36 inches long and would not be long enough. Even if it were 48 inches, it might have been a little too long or a little to short (probably too short). Cutting is labor intensive but it only took about 5-10 minutes per cut with a hack saw. Just keep reminding yourself what they had to do in the 'old days'. It's a small price to pay. Besides, I didn't have to spring for a second bar.
This is by far the best I have come across so far and very well explained. It could even be converted to keeping pet rabbits.<br><br>Thank you very much :)
Thank you.
If you don't need one this large, you can always scale it down.
this is great. thank u
The coop is so practical, i think i need one.

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