We recently put out a call to the Community to share your coops. We were awe-inspired by how creative and clever so many of your coops really are — and hundreds of them! Today, we present you Steve’s Choo Choo Coop.
The Choo Choo Coop is actually a chicken tractor that makes as much use out of recycled materials as possible, and even has safeguards in place for possible predators. Below, Steve has talked a little more about the process and shares more photos of the construction of the coop.
I am from Alamonte Springs, Florida. l just turned 60 years old and have a beautiful wife, Cindy, two girls, Brittany and Lindsey, that are both married as of this weekend to two great guys. I love them all very much! I write this because I can’t sleep tonight because my newlyweds are flying home from Hawaii. They have given me two awesome grandkids Sadie, 7, and Talan, 3.
I bought them 18 chicks, 12 mixed hens I raised in a conventional chicken house and six Ameraucana chicks to put n a chicken tractor.
ABOUT the CHOO CHOO COOP:
It all started out with an old two story wooden swing. Like a lot of other recyclers and homesteaders, I used as many recycled materials as I could. But I think the safety of our animals is what it’s all about, so I did buy some new wood, wire, and hardware .
1.) I added a couple of base board frames with 12 ‘- 2″ × 8”s
2.) I hooped a 6″× 8″ × 8′ cattle panel to the keep out large predator wrapped with 1//2″ ×1/2″ hardware cloth to keep out the smaller predator and sandwiched them between two other boards to lock the cattle panel in between.
3.) I had another good friend weld the cattle panel for me were ever it crossed.
4.) When I finished that part of the chicken tractor, my friend and co-builder looked at it and said “Don’t you think your coop is starting to look like a old steam train engine”? That statement was the start of a three-month salvage hunt for wheels that I found and got for free. I think that was a “GOD” thing! And I found an old stove pipe for the smoke stack.
5.) I cut the chicken wire at the bottom of the stack and added a lid so I can throw treats down through it without opening the door.
6.) I redesigned the roof from a simple flat top to the finished arch look of the little train that I modeled it after, which I took a picture of in a Hallmark store (SHH, PLEASE DON’T TELL ANYONE THAT I WAS IN A HALLMARK STORE!)
7.) I made an removable axle for the back and a hitch for the front so “I” — or should I say “WE” — (it’s way too heavy to move by myself) can move it about the yard to fresh green grasses for the hens to forage on.
8.) I used the swingset ladder for a ramp to the second story, a well-ventilated and cozy roost. By the way, they have a wood laminated floor for easy cleaning.
9.) I added recycled nesting boxes.