I am fascinated by chicken coop designs. Gardener’s Supply Company has something called the Little Egg Chicken Tractor. Now, I tend to be very much a do-it-yourself type, so I see something like this and think about how I could make it better (and cheaper), so it’s the basic design that I’m looking at.
It looks like they are using parts used for chain link fencing as the framework for the run. I have used those same parts to build a hawk-proof top for the “chicken nursery” where my chicks stay until they are fully grown and able to fend for themselves in the main chicken yard. It looks like it should be a very sturdy and lightweight design. My previous attempts at something like this proved to be far too heavy to be practical to move. This looks like it would work just fine.
The description says it will hold two to four chickens. I’d say that two large hens, such as Rhode Island Reds or Buff Orpingtons would be about right. It should hold four bantams just fine also, but I have found that bantams do a lot more scratching than larger hens do, so I’m afraid that they would do more damage to the ground than I’d want to see in a grass yard. For a suburban family wanting eggs a couple times a week, this just might be what they’re looking for.
One change that I would make is to change the angles on the bottom rail of the run so that when it is sitting on the ground, there is not a gap on the end where it joins to the coop. Just a little bend in the pipes should do the trick. That’s really just a minor issue though, since the ground isn’t going to be completely level, and as long as you’re moving it around regularly, they aren’t going to have time to scratch around and dig under it.
The fact that the wheels are where all the weight is would make it easy to move around. Overall, it just looks like an excellent design. I’ll have to build something like that myself and see how it comes out. If you don’t have the time or the inclination to build it yourself, you can get the whole thing directly from Gardener’s Supply Company.