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Our One of a Kind Chicken Coop

So, the chicks are about two months old and they have been living in their "highfalutin" chicken coop for about three weeks now.
And before I type another word about it, I have to say that my husband totally ROCKS!
Everything you see came from my husband's creative, ingenious mind. I was the happy cheerleader on the sideline as he created our upcycled, mobile chicken coop.

From this photo, one would think that the chickens are in a simple cage... peckin' at insects in the grass...

but now you see a wheel. Is that an old wheel? from a wagon you may wonder?
Any guesses?

It's definitely mobile...

Not a wagon, but an antique truck bed.
We had been talking about how we were going to build a mobile chicken coop, and my husband's friend wanted to give him this Ford 19 something-or-other truck bed.
My husband asked me what I thought, and I told him if he wanted to use it for a chicken coop, I would be thrilled! It was definitely a concept I had never heard of. Why not give it a shot?

So he worked and worked and worked on this project.
(To say my husband loves a challenge is an understatement.)
It was no simple task, and a person like me can't even comprehend how you take an "unsquare" structure and build a frame around it and it all come together.
I got overwhelmed just watching him figure it out.

Without getting into too many confusing technical details, I'll give you a quick overview on how it works:

* My husband cut a hole in the bottom of the truck bed, and built a wooden cage that can be lifted up (for easy moving) and dropped down (so the chickens can be on the ground.)
* To lift the cage, all a person has to do is rotate the crank (See image above).
*We already had this vintage nesting box (with six nests) and it fit perfectly in the trailer.
*Two of the bottom nesting boxes have been closed off for a rehabilitation nest (for a sick or injured chicken) For now, it holds a small box of chicken feed.

*For the roof, my husband used an old tin feed store sign (which was actually a dumpster find).
*Mr. à la parisienne would like for me to add: "We don't want any hard boiled eggs, so I added radiant barrier under the tin roof to deflect the heat."

Main door to chicken coop

*The metal handle at the front of the coop folds down for easy steering.
*He added a boat jack (the small wheel in the front) for mobility.
*Lastly, the white, simple fold down doors are for access to the nesting boxes from the outside.
(I'm still debating on whether or not I should paint words on these.)

So how much did this antique truck bed turned chicken coop cost?

Price breakdown:

*roof (sign) --- FREE
* lumber, radiant barrier, and metal ---FREE
(Remember, Mr. à la parisienne is a carpenter and always has leftover material.)
*old roll of chicken wire --FREE (family member donation)
*miscellaneous materials --$15.00
*Vintage nesting box ---$20.00
*Boat jack -- $24.00 (on sale)

Total cost ---$59.00
That's almost 14 dozen of organic eggs.
If all goes well, when our four chickens start laying eggs, it will take about 14 weeks to recover the cost of the coop.
I'd say that's pretty cost efficient!

I thank my dear husband for all of his hard work.
Once again, he has proven that time, ingenuity, and patience pay off, and the rewards are always beyond what we can imagine.

Mr. à la parisienne would also like to add that the truck bed is a 1932 to 1934 Ford model... Just in case you wanted to know:)

images by à la parisienne

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