You know we love mobile animal structures that pull double-duty here on Riverbend. They allow our animals to rehabilitate and restore our land while also allowing the animals to forage for better health (and reduce the feed bill).
When a company called Happy Farmer came to me and asked if we would try out their mobile chicken coop, I said yes. Though I was hesitant at first, I did agree (more on that below). For those of you considering a Happy Farmer coop, continue reading for my honest review of their product!
Why I Love Mobile Chicken Coops
Using chickens to restore the land is a great way to prepare the ground for a garden or, in our case, restore and improve our pasture area and create a future food forest.
In the past, we’ve built and tried multiple styles of mobile chicken coops (the Joel Salatin model, the Justin Rhodes’ chickshaw, etc.). We’ve also used what I dubbed the North Idaho Chicken Tractor, which works well in our northern climate where we get a lot of snow.
Through our journey of trying to find what works best for our situation, Happy Farmer reached out to us to see if we would try out their mobile chicken coop. Honestly, I was hesitant at first because of the price tag. But after discovering that some of our followers have this model and liked it, I decided we’d try it and let you all know our thoughts.
Happy Farmer Mobile Chicken Coop
Right off the bat, I liked certain aspects of the Happy Farmer mobile chicken coop. The frame is aluminum, so it’s very light, especially for its large size. It also has one-inch hardware cloth, making it a very safe coop for chickens (while maintaining its lightweight nature).
The design and structure are very well thought out, and it’s an overall solid product. But would I recommend it? Continue reading to find out.
As I said, the Happy Farmer chicken coop has a very solid design, complete with a sturdy door that locks in place and doubles as the handle to move the coop. The hardware cloth is fantastic for keeping predators out while allowing the chickens great airflow.
High-quality canvas covers the top and protects the entire backside. There are also removable flaps for the sides of the coop, providing even more wind/weather barriers so the chickens can get out of the elements.
Furthermore, the canvas is of great quality, and I have no doubt it will last multiple seasons if removed and stored correctly during the winter months.
The Happy Farmer mobile chicken coop we were sent is a standard 10×12 feet. Though this coop is meant to lock up your chickens at night (to protect them from predators), we keep the door open and use ours for feeding, watering, and allowing the chickens to get out of the elements.
Because we have so many chickens, there wouldn’t be enough space to keep our chickens locked up for long periods. On average, a chicken requires 5-6 square feet. So, at 120 square feet, this means this coop will hold about 20-24 chickens.
Our coop gets moved daily. The chickens are the last in line for grazing, following the cows, sheep and pigs. You can read more about how we free-range our chickens and other animals with multi-species rotational grazing for the small homestead.
The height of the chicken coop we received is another bonus. Though I can’t stand up straight, I like taller coops that I can get into because it makes changing out the feed and water containers easier.
The door opens and closes easily, and there’s great access to the nesting boxes from outside the coop, making egg collection simple and efficient.
One of the features I’m very impressed with is the locking wheel system. There’s a lever on the wheel that you push to raise the coop and move the chicken tractor. When your tractor is where you want it, you pull the lever back to lock the wheels in place. The lever isn’t difficult to move, meaning most people will have no problems moving the coop.
The only potential drawback to this wheel system is if you want to keep your chickens enclosed. When the wheels are unlocked the coop comes up pretty high from the ground. It’s a large enough gap that chickens could escape, potentially causing an issue.
Though this isn’t an issue for us, since we’re free-ranging our birds, it’s something to be aware of for certain.
Inside the coop, there are a number of features I thought were really cool.
- Roosting Bars – Plenty of roosting bars are available inside the coop for the birds at night.
- Easy Egg Collection – There’s a velcro flap on the backside of the chicken coop that allows for easy access to the nesting boxes. This is great for daily collection of eggs.
- Feeders/Waterers – Sturdy bars run along the top where we hang our waterers and feeders. There are many options available for mounting feeders and waterers. One is to attach them to the exterior of the coop, making filling them more accessible.
- Easy to Move – The design of the coop is well thought out because the nesting boxes along the back add a nice counterweight to the coop, which makes moving it easier.
With all the good I have to say about the Happy Farmer mobile chicken coop, the one area that gets a thumbs down from me is the cost. The coop we have costs over $3,000. I wouldn’t pay this much money for a coop like this, I would build it myself.
This is a decision you’ll need to make for yourself. Suppose you’re trying to get started homesteading while on a budget, purchasing this coop wouldn’t be my recommendation. However, if you’re in the market for a nice mobile chicken coop and have the means to purchase one for $3,000, then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this coop.
When it comes to design, construction, useability, durability, and moveability, I give it two thumbs up all across the board.
The only thumbs down from me is the cost.
In full transparency, we were not paid monetarily to write this blog post. Though we were given our coop for free for our honest review, all opinions are mine.
All in all, I hope my thoughts on this coop have helped you decide whether to purchase your own Happy Farmer chicken coop. They have multiple designs, so feel free to visit the Happy Farmer website for more information.
More Posts You May Enjoy
- Feeding Chickens Without Chicken Feed
- Raising Backyard Egg Laying Chickens
- Deep Litter Method for Backyard Chickens
- Chicken Tractor Basics
- Fermented Chicken Feed
- Why Do Chickens Stop Laying Eggs
- Using Chickens to Restore the Land
- Everything You Need to Know About Raising Meat Chickens
- Poultry Diseases Common to the Homestead
- How to Raise a Year’s Worth of Meat
- Broody Hen Management