×
×

Crib to Chicken Coop

For those of you that have ever raised chickens, you are well aware of just how fast chicks grow.  It seems that in a matter of just a few short weeks those fuzzy little balls of “cheeps” are a squawking, ground scratching, bug loving chicken.

The last batch of chicks we bought were Black Copper Marans.  These beautiful black hens produce a lovely dark chocolate egg.  These girls quickly outgrew their mini-coop and I knew it was time to figure out their permanent residence.

Chicken coops and tractors can be ridiculously expensive (see more about this HERE).  I knew building one myself would be less expensive, but I lack extensive carpentry skills.  I figured that starting with some type of basic framework for a chicken tractor would be easier for me than to start from scratch.  I saw a picture online of someone who turned a crib into a chicken coop and the Crib to Coop Repurposing project was born.

I began my hunt for cribs at thrift stores and searching Craigslist, but most were priced higher than I wanted to spend.  I was then blessed with two donated cribs from two very generous women (thank you!!).

The basics I wanted to stick to throughout this project were to stay simple and inexpensive.  I looked around the homestead and utilized what materials we had available.  Paint was my most expensive cost.  This project was moderately challenging and overall cost roughly $100.  I am very pleased with the cost of this project.  It took me about 3 full days to complete.

I began by removing all plastic parts off of the crib and stabilizing the framework.

(By the way, when you build a crib, do it from outside the framework, or else you will be trapped on the inside. Lesson learned!)

Next, I strategically placed cattle wire on 3 sides to prevent predators from entering.  Since I was planning on making this a tractor (mobile coop) I didn’t go all the way to the ground with the cattle wire.  I didn’t want to inhibit moving the coop around or damage the grass in the process.  Instead, I left very sharp edges (insert evil laugh here) a hair off the ground so that all predators will encounter an unexpected surprise if they try and sneak under.

I wanted to provide extra support for the frame so that when I am rolling it around the homestead, it is very sturdy.  I painted four boards (which I cut to exactly the same length as the crib without messing up or cutting a finger off-major accomplishment) and secured them to the crib.

I removed the wheels that came with the crib and wood glued in a more sturdy set.  I let this sit overnight to ensure a strong bond.

We have plenty of scrap metal roofing that was taken off our shop when the roof was replaced.  I decided to utilize these leftovers as the roof.  I placed a support bar across the top of the two vertical sides (thank you for the idea hubby) and nailed the roof to the support bar.  I also added some decoration to make it a bit more cute.  Black Copper Marans lay a dark chocolate colored egg, so I decided to use this fact as inspiration.

I then screwed in several natural roosts and got the hubs to help me put in a nesting box and access door.  I didn’t want to push my luck and operate the jig saw!  I added a bit more decoration and voila, the crib is now officially a chicken coop! 

What do you think?
Don’t miss any Homestead Redhead adventures, follow the full blog at homesteadredhead.com.
Published on Jun 25, 2013

Grit Magazine

Live The Good Life with GRIT!