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.
That is by far the loveliest coop ever!!! My late husband would have loved to build this as he spent many years working for the Railroad and was an avid train fan. Thank you so much for sharing!
Do you know about what the cost of supplies was? Also do you have the plans? This is a cool cool my kids would love.
My grandson (6) is a chicken whisperer! Before I moved I would find him in my chicken pen, leaned up against the hen house with one hen under each arm, and one in his lap! When we started looking at chicken tractors and he saw this – the search was over! Thank you for making a little guy VERY happy!!
is there anyway i could get the blueprints for this chicken coop?
Totally awesome! Right up there with the John Deere tractor coop in Phoenix!
Love it…very cool…if I had little ones around, I would make one…
Love your creativity. Lucky chickens!
I love the Choo Choo Coop. I am building an “A” frame chicken tractor, but now I am going to do some redesigning. Mine in 12’x6′ at the bottom, with a 9′ long run and 3′ roost/nest area. Since I already have the run made I may not change it, but I am going to change the house area. Do you have any complete measurements?
I can’t believe no one else has commented on this as it’s the cutest coop/tractor I’ve seen yet! When I saw all those wheels that didn’t even touch the ground, I couldn’t figure out how you’d move it but then saw the pic that showed the little black wheels on the very back. Job well done! As I said, it’s the cutest yet, and I’m so jealous!