Using portable chicken coops to house backyard flocks is ideal for the chickens, the land and ultimately, the people who eat the eggs and chicken meat. By moving the chicken coops on a daily basis, the hens or meat birds always have access to fresh grass and bugs, and their droppings are naturally spread around the area in moderation. These conditions are perfect for growing healthy birds, improving the soil and producing nutritious eggs and meat.
Portable chicken coops come in a variety of designs and sizes, and can of course be custom-built as needed. Some pens intended for meat chickens are pretty simple in design with a sheltered area to provide shade from sun and protection from the elements, and a wire mesh- enclosed area for them to scratch around in and eat and drink.
Hens, which are being kept for their egg production, are often housed in more elaborate portable coops, with nesting boxes and roosting bars, giving them an ideal environment to both free range and remain secure in their egg laying capacity.
No matter the flock’s purpose, the portable chicken coops that house them should be:
Easy to move
Secure from predators
Choose sturdy yet lightweight materials, so that the pens can be moved often, preferably several times a week or even daily. This is best for the land as it ensures that a small amount of chicken manure is left in each spot to improve soil quality without overwhelming it.
Even light coops will be difficult or nearly impossible to move if they have not been designed with portability in mind. Wheels, tow bars, and even building the portable chicken coops on a movable base such as a trailer are great ways to help make free range backyard chicken flocks an enjoyable hobby and not a burdensome chore.
Be fastidious about checking the coop for gaps in the mesh or places where predators might enter and harm the flock at night. Possums, foxes, raccoons and cats are just a few of the chicken lovers you want to keep far away from your hens.
For egg laying chickens, make sure you can easily access the nesting boxes to collect fresh eggs daily. Your eggs should have dark, firm yolks and taste better than the pale factory-farm eggs found in modern grocery stores. Enjoy them; they are far more nutritious as well.
Look at a variety of portable chicken coops to find the one that will work best for your flock and acreage, ensuring that it has enough square footage for your feathered friends and can be easily moved about the farm or grassy area where they will be pastured.