I had (very) grand plans about our mobile coop. I wrote up requirements, made a scale model, and had different versions in mind. I intended to build at least two this year, using feedback from my first build to influence the next. And I intended to spend a lot of time on optimizing the build in terms of simplicity of both the process and the parts list, with a hope of making something that could be useful to others, too.
All good intentions, but in short I don’t think this coop design is good enough to bother. It’s working just fine, but with even just a few weeks’ use, I think it needs more back-to-the-drawing board. The core structure of triangles made from ripped 2×4 was very easy to build and ended up nice and strong, and the ventilation “wings” seem to function as designed.
The details around the floor, doors, and sides leave much to be desired, and in the end substantially complicated the build. The triangle shape is nice, but so far the birds seem reluctant to get up on the roost (in the narrower upper part of the triangle) in anything close to the hoped-for numbers. To be fair, that could be breed difference, as we’ve only got the Rainbow Rangers in the coop now. The biggest shortcoming so far is portability, as was somewhat dramatically evident on our initial move to pasture. After all of the extra wood needed for doors and sides, not to mention ~150 lbs of birds (and growing), we’re nowhere close to the goal of a one-person move with little 8″ wheels.
Oh well. It’s usable, and there are certainly lessons to be learned. I’m not sure I could have failed a whole lot earlier, and while the next mobile coop might end up being a lot more different than this one than I’d originally expected, it will certainly be different because of this one.