Cadillac Ranch – Not Your Average Backyard Chicken Coop

Backyard Chicken Coop - Cadillac Ranch

 

Cadillac Ranch is an excellent backyard chicken coop. It is state of the art with consideration of the best practices in poultry science, study of the best backyard coop designs, years of experience, and input from several experts in the field.

Cadillac Ranch Coop is designed to be low maintenance, predator resistant, odor free, attractive, and portable. The coop interior is designed to house six to eight normal sized chicken comfortably, keep the chickens healthy, and enhance healthy egg production.

Proven & centuries old livestock barn drafting is utilized to thermodynamically draw & exhaust air – keeping the chickens cool in the hot Texas summers.

Cadillac Ranch is approximately 3′ x 8′ with a 7′ tall clerestory peak. It is designed to fit through most fence gates and is lightweight enough to be moved around the yard.  Optional wheels & handles can be added to make it a portable chicken tractor for moving around and fertilizing the lawn.

The coop interior is 6′ x 3′ with three roosting rods, screened windows, and a screened clerestory roof window. The floor of the coop is framed for deep litter composting and minimal maintenance. All inside surfaces are painted & wipeable to avoid mite and insect problems.

Four spacious nesting boxes (two each side) are provided with hinged roofs for easy collection of fresh eggs.

A chicken pen area of 3′ x 8′ is incorporated below the coop and is fenced with predator resistant welded wire, sides and bottom.  The pen floor is set up for deep mulch composting as well.

The pen area is shaded & below the coop to provide the chickens protection from the hot Texas sun and rain. An operable trap door and ladder allows the chickens to move from the coop to the pen area.

The pen area for the base coop model can accommodate up to six normal sized chickens, if they are penned 100% of the time. If free-ranging is utilized, up to 8 chickens can be kept. Optional attachable pens can also be added on any side of the base pen.

Coop walls are constructed of T1-11 exterior siding, primed and painted both sides with long life exterior  paint.  The coop floor is plywood, primed & painted. All surfaces of the coop and pen are painted or stained.

The roof is constructed of polycarbonate corrugated panels that are lightweight, impact resistant, UV resistant and deter heat transmission. The roof is long life, aesthetically pleasing, and made of environmentally friendly recycled material.

Additional options are available for this coop, including solar power & lighting, automatic doors, predator deterrents/alarm systems, forced air ventilation, heat, automatic water systems, chicken video cam, and much more.

If you are interested in owning your own Cadillac Ranch, contact Mark Glover at 214-550-5017 or Mark@iMarkRealty.com

 

About the Design/Builder:

Mark Glover has years of experience with backyard chickens. He has written articles on getting started with backyard chickens, raised backyard chickens, and helped others to get started with backyard chickens. He has appeared in magazines, newspapers and on television discussing the proper care for backyard chickens. Mark and his wife Penny run Rheudasil Farms in Flower Mound, TX, which is their three acre mini-farm.

Mark is also the Founder of iMark Realty Advisors, a commercial real estate advisor and broker. For over 25 years, Mark has designed, built & developed many commercial buildings. His projects have included multi-story office buildings, retail centers, manufacturing facilities & community buildings. Mark can be reached at 214-550-5017 or Mark@iMarkRealty.com.

Chicken & Chicken Tractor Exhibit at Lowe’s

Chicken Tractor at LowesWe had a wonderful event at Lowe’s in Flower Mound, Texas and were able to take my chicken tractor for a parking lot exhibition. This was a “Spring Fling Resource Conservation Show” sponsored by Lowe’s. Several informative exhibits were there including Rain Water Harvesting, Drought Tolerant Landscapes, a Composting Clinic, and others. Chickens fit in with this event like a pea in a pod.

The event organizers told us we were the life of the party. Hundreds of people came by to see the chickens and visit with us. Most hung around for a while to watch the chickens and learn.

A chicken tractor is a portable chicken coop that can be moved around the yard for chickens to eat bugs and grass. The chickens fertilize the lawn as the tractor moves around. You normally move a chicken tractor once a week or so.

My chicken tractor is named “The Chicken Ranch”. The original Chicken Ranch was in Lagrange, Texas, but stabled a different type of hen.

chicken tractor

The Chicken Ranch

They made a movie about the original Chicken Ranch, “The Best Little Wh#@e House in Texas” . ZZ Top even had a song about the famed Chicken Ranch called “Lagrange”.  Who says chicken tractors can’t be fun!

I designed and constructed my chicken tractor to look like an old rural red barn. I’ve admired old barns since childhood. Since I can’t afford to build a full size barn like this, the chicken tractor version is a good compromise.

I can go out to Chicken Ranch any time and admire the hens. My wife doesn’t mind at all and it is a good addition to our backyard mini-farm.

Chicken Tractor

Chicken Tractor on Trailer

This chicken tractor is perfect to load on a utility trailer and take to an event. People are drawn to it and it is a wonderful way to display the chickens. The chickens can go out in the pen area, or stay in the coop for the privacy of laying an egg. The low roofs hinge up on both sides to easily retrieve the eggs, inspect the chickens, or clean out the coop.

All my adult hens performed at this event and laid eggs for the spectators. Many kids and adults got to see this for the first time in their life. I let spectators pick up a warm fresh egg and this was special for them.

Several people liked my chicken tractor and said they were in process of planning one. It helps to see what others have done with chicken tractor designs, up close and personal. It is hard to evaluate a chicken tractor on the internet and there are many misleading advertisements for designs and kits.

I designed my own chicken tractor. I had a mental picture of a barn, made sketches, worked through some basic dimensions, and went to work. The end product did not look exactly like my sketch because I improved on the design as it took shape. I was a commercial design-builder for many years, so this was fairly easy for me.

If you don’t have the skills or interests in design, or know anyone that will help you in designed a coop, you can purchase chicken tractor designs off the internet. I have even seen some free plans.

Be sure to consider the needs of your new tenants before designing your coop. You design from the inside-out considering things like how much room your chickens need, nesting boxes, roosting rods, ventilation needs, and how to keep predators out. Doors are important too and I wanted mine to be simple and trouble free. Some go with doors that automatically open at dawn and close a little after dusk.

I did include solar lights in the coop area. Hens need about 14 hours of light to lay eggs in the winter. I believe the coop light also is a deterrent against predators, and my hens seem to like it.

Personally, I recommend buying the materials locally and building your own chicken tractor verses buying a kit. There are kits with very inferior materials. You also avoid an extra markup on materials and paying to ship these heavy materials. You can buy most all you need at your local Lowe’s.

Not everyone is handy with tools. You can hopefully find a friend that is. If not, you can find a handyman to help through Lowe’s. If you have a local chicken club or Chicken Meetup Group, you may get some fellow members there to help you. Building a unique coop is like creating art. It can be great fun and very satisfying.

Most gratifying for me with my chicken tractor is seeing small children feeding, petting, and holding chickens.Petting Chicken Many children have never seen a chicken beyond cartoons, video games and TV. There is something magical between children and chickens. This alone makes all the work and expense associated with building a chicken tractor worthwhile.

We also talked with adults at the Lowe’s event that want chickens, are getting chickens, and already have chickens. There is value in sharing. Personally, I learn a lot from other chicken owners. There are many more backyard chickens than most people realize. This type event allows chicken owners to connect.

I encourage chicken advocates to seek out chicken events and chicken groups locally.  Chicken owners are interesting and genuine folks. You can learn a lot from each other.chicken Tractor

We have started a couple of chicken groups locally and were able to get lots of email addresses of chicken enthusiasts at this Lowe’s event. We started a chicken Meetup Group named Backyard Chickens Collaborative – North DFW to help people learn and share information on chickens in the North Texas Region. We also started a Facebook advocacy group at Chicks 4 Flower Mound. to help revise the chicken ordinance in Flower Mound so our neighbors on smaller residential lots can keep a few hens also.

If you have a chance to exhibit at one of these events, take your chicken tractor and chickens. Show your community the benefits of having backyard chickens, what great pets they are, and how much fun they can be. It makes for a great day for you, and will make a memorable impression on precious young children.