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ok chicken people van for coop?

 
danelle grower
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Hey I have an 83 VW Westy camper van.  Don't really NEED to sell it.  Maybe could get $500-$1000 not really sure.  Sometimes it runs most times not needs work.  Selling can be such a pain.  So I was thinking maybe I could use it as a chicken coop/tractor?  The fridge stove and sink I think I could use as an outdoor kitchen?  Basically just looking for some creative uses for it.  Food dehydrator smoker I don't know.  We are planning on getting chickens and that will require buying lumber and stuff to build the coop since I already have the van thought that might work Plus it has wheels on it already. 

Maybe I am crazy it just seems that there should be a creative beneficial use other than trying to get rid of it.  Any ideas would be great.  Nothing can be to crazy. Thanks 
 
brett watson
Posts: 100
Location: Northern California Zone 8b
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Oh man I'll take that off your hands...sorta seriously, maybe not really

Anyways, to use it as a tractor you would have to give them access, so would you cut the floor out?
I kind of share Paul's views about tractors, but it could be a great mobile coop for a paddock shift or free range system.
 
danelle grower
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I guess chicken tractor as I have read about them is not exactly what I want to do I would say more of a train/paddock.  Moving them around so they have fresh stuff to eat and I don't have to pay for feed all the time.   I think some people are using them more as a chicken rototiller.   The muddy ground thing has always been what has turned me off about chickens. 

So yes I would have to cut a hole in the floor or door or take a window out something.  I know nothing about what chickens need or want but if I do get them I want them very happy & healthy.  Any other idea? Or do you think this would work.  I do know you have to clean the pen. As with any animal.  I love my pressure washer and any thing that is easy to clean.  Wood can get so  dirty yuck.   I have also heard they like light or need day light to lay so I thought the windows might be a good thing.

We live on 5 acres in the PNW have plenty of shade for the days the sun decides to shine.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Location: Near Klamath Falls, Oregon
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I thought about doing that with an old van I had a few years ago (I ended up selling the van).  If you decide to do this, make sure you put wire over all the windows that can be opened, and keep them open unless the weather is really nasty -- chickens have very delicate lungs and ventilation is absolutely critical.  Also make sure that they don't overheat. 

The other possible used I had thought of for mine were 1. a large food dehydrator (would work really well, if you think through a good design -- need to allow good ventilation, keep the food out of the sun, and keep insects out of the food); 2.  chick brooder; 3.  seedling starter.  Some of these are not mutually exclusive -- you could start seedlings in it, then clean it up and use it for a dehydrator later on, for example.


Kathleen
 
danelle grower
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Great ideas.  Hadn't thought of starting plants. I was thinking I could screen in the top and leave open in the summer and then close up in the winter.  I don't know maybe even selling for scrap may be a good idea. 
 
Ken Peavey
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Go for it.

All you need is the shell.  There is demand for parts, consider selling off all the parts you dont need.  Craigslist can be handy, you might get more selling parts than selling the thing whole, plus you get the use of the thing while you wait.

You may want to consider removing all the fluids.  If something freezes or corrodes, you can contaminate the soil under the thing.  The battery has a myriad of uses.  Consider a small solar panel to charge it, run the 12 volt lighting system that is in the van-tear it out and put it in the barn/shed/garage/wofati.  Alternately, perhaps you can do something with the alternator to charge that battery.

In the constant effort to reduce, reuse, and recycle, look at things that can be salvaged.  Those seats sure would be handy in a covered area near the brick oven.  If you added some chicken wire behind the front seats, you have an instant greenhouse.  Take off the tires, sell the rims, plant potatoes or make a swing. 

Way back in the day we used to go to camp.  Just off the beach an old man had set up an old box truck under the trees as a candy stand.    Amazing what a nickel would get you.  At work we use a 53' trailer as our toolbox. 

 
danelle grower
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Ken fantastic ideas.  I just hate getting rid of good "junk".  With a creative spirit you can come up with all sorts of things.  Sometimes I'm just not that creative but I know the ideas are out there.  Thanks any more ideas.
 
                              
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Location: north georgia
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Before you part it out... 1983 had a very few aircooled engines made.  If it is one of the few it worth something to the vw heads. Kinda rare.    But all thing considered  yes you can probably part it out for more than you can sell it complete. 
 
danelle grower
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thanks no it's not air cooled one of the first water cooled ones wish it was.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Not sure where you are but I'm thinking it would be a great place to start seedlings in winter for spring planting; a kind of greenhouse/potting shed.

  I would want a light in it to extend the daylight hours.
Should stay nice and warm on sunny days, not too hard to keep above freezing during cold weather (at least not in my climate).

 
Dave Bennett
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I saw an old school bus that had been converted into a chicken coop so I don't see why that van wouldn't work.
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Our next-door neighbor was going to give me the old bus that's sitting in their back yard to use for a coop, but since this place is for sale and we are going to be moving clear across the country, I canceled that.  It would have made a good, secure coop, though.

Kathleen
 
Dave Bennett
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I can't have chickens ot my favorite Muscovy ducks here so I have 3 rabbits for food.  I can hide them easily since they live in hutches.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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When I read this, I was reminded of the coolest chicken tractor I'd seen in a blog a while ago.

It's a 1970 "lorry" converted to a coop/tractor thing. Check out the carpentry and other features--including the bumper sticker. 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=16313-maurice-chicken-coop-car

Too much paint for some, perhaps, and too much to clean out inside for many permies, but the effect is pretty cool!
 
danelle grower
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That was exactly what I was thinking so cool and different! I think I could do that ok after the other projects are done.  Good option if we don't sell it.
 
                              
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http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/grd/2525186648.html

Sure genius and excellent creativity. 
 
danelle grower
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This is fantastic! 
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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thomas wrote:
http://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/grd/2525186648.html

Sure genius and excellent creativity.   


Yes--I agree! In case the ad is removed, I save it to a .pdf file and attached it here. Didn't want to lose this one! 
Filename: 1973 VW chicken coop shed green house.pdf
Description:
File size: 984 Kbytes
[Download 1973 VW chicken coop shed green house.pdf] Download Attachment
 
danelle grower
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Thanks for saving it it truly is a great one. 
 
Rick Wells
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Put a green roof on it to help keep it cool. Paint the sides with Hippie paint. Those chickens will be laying tie died eggs!! 
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Here's a pic of Maurice, the 1970's lorry, from their website.

 
Jocelyn Campbell
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And here are more pics from the cl ad for the 1973 VW bus chicken coop that thomas posted.

vwbuscoop1.jpg
[Thumbnail for vwbuscoop1.jpg]
vwbuscoop2.jpg
[Thumbnail for vwbuscoop2.jpg]
vwbuscoop3.jpg
[Thumbnail for vwbuscoop3.jpg]
 
Matu Collins
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Danielle, what did you end up doing with the van?
 
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