I could very possibly get 2 free laying hens...or more. Would it be possible?...ethical?... logical?... to build a chicken coop and run that I could essentially take down and stow in either my 15ft C.O.W. (Cabin on Wheels) or on top of my 4Runner? So like a folding A-Frame?
Would the chickens still lay or would they be under stress moving every couple of months? Is it possible to keep something like this warm or would they freeze to death? I am adamant about not letting them live inside the C.O.W. I am just starting to clean and rebuild it. It would be interesting to try to build a little coop that they could access from the outside without actually going inside...but I digress...
I'm thinking like a hinge at the top of the A frame and it folds. The shelf inside that keeps them off the ground can come off. everything would lock into place when put together. Milk crates for them to sit in...
anyway crazy caffeinated ideas needing some feedback....
The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness - John Muir
People kept them on ships for fresh eggs so it's certainly possible.
Starting with warmth, chickens really don't need any unless you live somewhere really really cold they will do fine so long as they are out of the wind, and have a perch that lets them get their feathers down over their feet.
A frame runs/coops are pretty common so again perfectly possible.
Personaly I do not like chicken tractors or runs I built one myself which was 15ft long by 4ft wide with a suspended house and I found it cruel to keep them in such a small area but I am aware I am in a minority here.
If I were trying to do moveable chickens I would make a small house for them with a perch and a nesting box and a good lockable door. this would be their house when you are set up and their crate when you move. and then I would buy some electric poultry netting and a solar charger, that way the chickens could get as much or as little space as wherever you stopped had, and it would take very little room when you were packed up and moving.
I have no idea how stressed/not stressed they would be but I expect they would soon get used to it.
If you're only moving "Would the chickens still lay or would they be under stress moving every couple of months?" but their "housing" is staying the same, I suspect they would adapt just fine. I agree with Skandi that finding a way to free-range them a little would be good, but particularly the first few days after a move, having their house large enough that they are comfortable in it (I like Gail Damerow's view of 8 square feet per layer bird) would give you time to scope out the predator situation. If they don't adapt, you may be able to re-home them and since they're free, you haven't lost anything. Keep the infrastructure you built, and wait until you find a couple more to try moving with.
One point though - chickens are "groupies". Two is pretty minimal although I've had pairs that couldn't live with other flocks who did fine together. This issue is that if you loose one to illness or predation, you will have to try to find a replacement, because a single chicken, even with you as its "flock" is not considered humane by many people.