An EggMobile (a term created by Joel Salatin, I believe) is a mobile chicken coop for laying hens. It allows us to easily move the coop anywhere on the property. This lets us target where we let our chickens free-range. We will sometimes use a poultry net fence and sometimes we will truly let them free-range. But we finally have our new EggMobile out in the pasture. I use the term “we” loosely. I designed the basic EggMobile, I found the trailer, and I helped a bit, but my father really took this project over. He doesn’t like to be called a master carpenter, but that is truly what he is without the certification. He took my basic design and ran with it.

The goal on our farm is to find the balance between classy and frugal. I visited a number of farms before we finally bought our place, and I’ve seen such a wide range of quality, aesthetics, and function when it comes to farm structures. I entirely understand building things for as inexpensive as possible. I also understand wanting something to look good. A farmer can quickly go broke if they didn’t pay attention to the bottom line, but a farm can quickly look like a junkyard if the farmer doesn’t pay attention to appearance. This is the constant ebb and flow for us.

We chose to build on a used trailer, but with mostly new wood. We want this structure to last a long time, so we built it with quality in mind. A nice coat of paint is an extra, sort of. We bought partially used paint from Habitat for Humanity to be used as a primer. It was only $1 a can! When all the partial cans were mixed together, the color was an off-purple. We chose to pay a bit more for inexpensive barn paint for the final coat. But the paint also has a function; it protects the wood from the elements allowing it to last longer. Everything was sealed between coats.

I am very visual, and I know a of you are as well. So I took photos during the entire process so we can share exactly what we did.

Here we go:

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We bought a used trailer off CraigsList. It had a base of plywood we needed to remove.

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Here is the frame without the base.

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The initial floor framing.

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The floor that extended beyond the edges of the trailer needed extra support.

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This is how we attached the floor to the trailer frame.

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We covered the floor with 1/2-inch hardware cloth. This is comfortable for the chickens to walk on when they need to, but it also allows their manure to (mostly) fall through.

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Attaching the walls to the floor required some creative bracing.

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Attaching the walls to the floor. This is one of the doors.

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Wall framing is done. There is one door on either end. It is large enough for us to get in and out, and to put in their roosts and remove them when we need to, but we do not plan on getting in the coop very often.

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We added a double brace to give more support to the long walls.

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The walls were covered with plywood.

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Nest boxes will be along both long walls.

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From inside the EggMobile. The nest box area now has dividers separating the individual nest boxes.

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The roof was built separately.

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More roof details.

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Another shot of how the roof was constructed.

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The roof was covered with plywood and then a metal roof was added on top of that.

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Underside of the roof.

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The metal roof was attached with matching screws. Theses were put on the ridges to prevent leaks from developing.

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We had to lift the roof up on its side to move it out of the garage. It was quite heavy. We estimated it weighs about 500 lbs.

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Due to the weight, we were unable to lift the roof. So we asked our neighbor to help us with his tractor.

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Strapping, chains, and a tractor were used to get the roof in place.

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Using the tractor to put the roof in place.

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Roof in place. Just have to remove the braces from the side of the roof, add wood to the gables, and add the doors. You can see the nest boxes have a separate roof that is lifted from the outside to collect the eggs each day. These are low enough that my children can easily collect the eggs.

The completed EggMobile!

The completed EggMobile! Towed into place. We use a couple of cinder blocks to support it. We have a small door and ramp for the chickens to exit and enter. This lifts up and locks in place each night and while moving.

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Chickens finally in the EggMobile! They haven’t figured out the roosts yet.

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The hens checking out their new nest boxes.

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The chickens finally out and about… and the snow started!