Animals | Chickens | Homesteading | Ranch Life | Spring

This is How Our Chickens Roll

June 10, 2013

Our chickens live in style. They enjoy movement and new ground, so we decided to take an old horse trailer and make it into our moveable chicken coop.DSC_9139Now I wracked my brain for a long time trying to figure out how to make a moveable chicken coop. We thought about buying an old camp trailer, old horse trailers, old truck beds… But it came down to the fact that I didn’t want to spend money! So after much deliberation, we took a horse trailer that we hardly ever use and put roosts/laying boxes in it and voila! We have a moveable chicken coop. If you don’t have a spare horse trailer laying around (why wouldn’t you? ;)) Then there are plenty of other options as I listed above. We just found it was hard to find anything free or really cheap, but chickens really aren’t that picky about what they live in (keep that in mind).

DSC_9143 DSC_9142Setting up a movable chicken coop is fairly easy. Just simply make some sort of roost where the chickens can roost at night (chickens don’t really enjoy sleeping on the ground) and make some laying boxes. We found online that 5 gallon buckets make fabulous laying boxes, so instead of buying some or making some out of wood we just took some 5 gallon buckets that we had hanging around and laid them on their side. Magically we had laying boxes!

Your water and feeders are up to you on how you want them designed. We just give water in a bowl that we clean out everyday and the grain is in a mixture of bowls and feeders, chickens seem to make a mess out of them, regardless of how much work/money you put into a feeder, but once again thats up to you.

DSC_9138 DSC_9146Some people like to put their chickens in a chicken run and some people like to let their chickens run all over the place. We used to let our chickens just run all over our barnyard, but they sure make a mess after a while, so that’s why we decided to make the portable chicken house and move them around the pasture near our house. Chickens become very aware when they are forced out into new pasture everyday. Our chickens watch out for hawks and other predators that could be looking for a snack. The chickens will happily graze on bugs and grass all day long and lay their eggs when the please in the laying boxes. At night they simply jump back in the trailer and get up on their roost and fall asleep. We used to go close the door every night, but our chickens go to bed so late we stopped going out and doing it. Thankfully we haven’t lost any chickens yet, but I wouldn’t recommend it if your area is well known for coyotes, skunks, raccoons or possums.

Truly free ranged chickens have the most amazing eggs. Chickens that are caged or just have a “chicken run” will never have the same colored yolks and nutrients levels as a free ranged bird does. This is because of the bugs. Chickens have to have protein in their diet. I have heard some people exclaim that their eggs are “vegetarian” which I just laugh at, because birds are not designed to eat a purely vegetarian diet. Chickens need the protein, especially when they are laying eggs almost every day! The reason why we move them so often is because chickens will destroy a bug population in a very short period of time (depending on how many birds). So when we used to have our chickens in the barnyard there wasn’t hardly a bug to see, the chickens ate all of them! However, because of eating all the bugs they would eat more feed and travel further away to find a protein source.

We love our fresh source of eggs and love having chickens. Do the best you can with what you have! Having any chickens will bring happiness into your life 🙂

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