Grass and bugs are SUPER important to a chicken's diet. Every time I see egg cartons that say, vegetarian or grain fed, I want to roll my eyes in annoyance. Chickens aren't vegetarians, and the last thing I want my chicken eating a ton of is grain! By nature chickens eat lots of bugs, grass, seeds, rocks (yes rocks, they need those to digest their food!) berries, and other random things that they may find while scratching about. What they eat makes a difference in the quality of their life and the quality of their eggs. A happy healthy hen lays eggs with nice dark orange yolks and a great egg-y flavor, while a cooped up grain-fed hen produces light yellow yolks with very little taste. See for yourself!
The top two on the right are my girls eggs and the one on the bottom left is a store bought, grain-fed, free-range, organic egg. (lots of fancy labels don't equal good quality!) At this point you may be thinking... wait, wasn't the title of this post how to make a portable chicken coop? Yes, yes it was. I just felt it was worth mentioning, that whether you are an urban farmer like "I like to think" I am or a farmer with lots of acres and a big operation, I feel it is important to know the value of giving hens the basic primal need of bugs and pasture.
So here it is, a photo of our inexpensive, lightweight and easily movable run.
It is constructed from very inexpensive materials that you don't need to worry about going bad in the weather. I have built other versions of portable runs before, including wooden collapsible ones, and they just don't seem to hold up to the weather, they are time consuming to make and cost a fair amount of $$$.
So here are the instructions, (thanks to my wonderful and awesome husband) including the pricing and cut list.
(click the photo to make it bigger)
The run is made from 1/2" PVC piping and 24" wide chicken wire held on with zip ties.It measures 2 feet tall by 4 feet wide and 5 feet long.
Husband says it is self explanatory but if you do have questions or need more through instructions just leave a comment! We would be happy to answer any questions!