Chickens and SketchUp

I have always loved chickens. This might be partly due to the fact that my dad grew up on a farm and then introduced me to chickens from a young age.

One day when I was nine or ten years old my dad came home with a hen, and put me in charge of taking care of her. Slowly we added a few more chickens, then some ducks and finally some turkeys to the collection.

The experience of taking care of poultry was a good one for me. It taught me a lot about responsibility and the rewards of hard work. There was always something very rewarding about collecting fresh eggs.

It also taught me about the circle of life. I loved watching chickens hatch and grow. I hated watching a chicken die of disease despite my best efforts to care for it.

My family traveled and moved a lot when I was a kid, and having chickens always made me feel more settled, as if we were in that home to stay. Ironically, the one place we were not allowed to keep chickens was in a tiny Saskatchewan town with a population of less than 50 people and surrounded by farms. It seems that small-town bylaws can be stricter than those in cities.

As an adult I have also raised chickens when my living situation has permitted it. The cage shown here is one I made from scrap wood, small and portable enough to move around.

Chickens 003

I’ve drawn up the design I used on SketchUp. The covered area includes a nesting box at the top with a small door, while the main door is on the bottom. I’m sure there are lots of improvements that could be made, but the overall design is handy for a small and portable warm-weather chicken coop.


13 thoughts on “Chickens and SketchUp

  1. That’s really cool! I loved having chickens too. When we moved to the “country,” some actually came with the house lol. We had a few great years with them and then some ducks but a Fisher found and dug it’s way into the coop and took all of them ☹. After that I didn’t have the heart to have any more go that way. For a while we were the laughing stock though because we didn’t eat them, they were pets!!!

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  2. I just love chickens. I am very fortunate to have access to fresh eggs every day. I wish we had more! We had one die the other day, okay she had to be put down but she wound up with a diseased eye and the others picked it until she was bleeding . It was terrible. It happened so fast. I get so attached to them, bring them treats–they love greens! Thank you for this article, it was great reading about your experience and seeing your pics and tips. I would rather have a portable enclosed coop for their outside excursions because we have had too many die of either bobcats or hawks when they are out and about, free range style. They are technically my landlords but we take care of them as well so, like I said, I am super attached to them. At least yours can go from place to place to forage and peck and not get attacked! Thank you again for sharing.

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  3. At the Hamilton Gardens in New Zealand (amazing place by the way!) they have a section showcasing permaculture. Part of the system used coops similar to yours, only with the bottom open to the ground. It was called a “chicken tractor.” The coops would be moved from place to place. Once the chickens had eaten the foliage and weeds, scratched and turned up the soil, and fertilized it well, the “chicken tractor” was moved to a different location, and the former location was replanted. Really cool!

    Liked by 1 person

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