Sean Kibler

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since Feb 15, 2012
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Recent posts by Sean Kibler

Jeremiah Pedro wrote:Good evening, Sean.

For your wheels, how about a pivoting wheel?
Something like what the "crazy bavarian gardener" has on his chicken tractor.

Crazy Bavarian Gardener chicken tractor wheel design


I had seen that video during my planning! My initial plan was to copy that design or do something based on it. The fixed wheels were one of a few compromises I made to ensure that I got the coop done before the weather turned. Also, I did lose one bird to an unknown predator and that caused me to expedite my timeline of getting them sleeping in a closed space off the ground.

In the meantime I discovered someone on YouTube who used trailer jacks retrofitted with large rubber tires and I'm really liking the benefits of that even though it'll be much more expensive than the Crazy Bavarian Gardener's design.

Love the overall setup.  I've been using a smaller chicken tractor in my backyard for 5 years now and it has worked quite well.  Understand that you will need to park the structure in winter due to wet/snow/icy ground.  I add clear plastic sheeting around most of the structure (particularly the windward sides) and hold it in place with furring strips.  It is then easy to remove in the spring when you want to start moving again.  Be sure to leave ventilation areas with the plastic- the idea is to protect against water/wind.  Your chickens can handle dry cold conditions.


I am planning on making use of them for ground clearing! Stack those functions! I do have some plastic sheeting and plenty of tarps so I'll be sure to give them some wind protection. Thank you for all of your feedback!

I live in North Central Ohio....Knox County the most southeast corner.  I don't know about predators in your area,, but at my farm, the raccoons would be under you bottom frame of the coop in no time.  I have had raccoons going after my chickens in broad daylight.  But at night, they will go under the chicken tractor in no time.  


Nice to know of a semi-local permie! I'm in Canton (Jackson Township). I have a red fox that dens nearby, racoons out the wazoo, the usual aerial predators and the biggest coyote I've ever seen. In fact a friend who is an avid hunter told me he thinks what I saw as a giant coyote is actually crossed with a dog. Either way, it would make short work of my flock.

I really like your idea with the shelf wings! I will keep that in mind as an improvement for next year. I'm willing to take my chances for now. I work from home and can keep an eye on the chickens. I do plan on at least making sure the frame makes contact with the ground all the way around so that larger predators will be forced to dig under and hopefully I'd be able to catch them if it were during the day. If they get in at night then they still have to get passed the locks or chew a hole through the door. If they do that they've earned a meal.

Thanks for the tips!

I think its a pretty good build and most of the improvements you listed would be a good idea. I do worry about the translucent roof allowing it to get too hot in summer though. Definitely need more ventilation, and that can be tricky if you have winter to deal with, but I dont remember where you said you are at. Also, not sure if the ladder style roost is necessary. They will probably all just fight for a spot on the top rung anyway. I have 2 at the same level and they fight for a spot on the same oneā€¦


I had the same concern about the semi-transparent roofing causing the interior to get too hot in the summer. I figured I would just use a tarp or fabricate a secondary roof that can be easily removed to block the sun out during the hottest months. I'm in Northeast Ohio so it gets warm here but not like in the south, I believe our average temps are mid to high 80s. Scorchers here are in the 90s. I have decent shade options as well.

What were the troubles with your mobile coop for winter use?

Thanks for your feedback!

I'd probably ask local chicken keepers about the nest-boxes, though. Down here (Coastal Texas 9a) we have to worry about heat and chicken tolerances. Those offset nest-boxes tend to turn into mini-ovens in the summer heat, down here. I know right now you're probably dealing with hens who are sleeping and pooping in them, as hens are contrary critters.


Thank you for all of your advice! I have some friend that farm so even if they don't know they'll know others to ask for advice about the external nesting boxes.

I'm not sure if I'm going to do the external nesting boxes this year or wait until next year. If I leave them on the interior I'm hoping once I install dividers and make that shelf a real nesting box they'll stop pooping in there. I plan on doing one or the other very soon since they are sleeping there and I don't want them to get too used to that.
4 months ago
Thank you all for the feedback so far, I will replace the front and side trim panels with hardware cloth as soon as possible.

Interestingly, just a few days ago a mink farm a few hours away from me was broken into and tens of thousands of mink were let loose. Reports were made that there were so many mink getting run over on the highway that snow plows were used to clear the roadways.

I will keep the solid tires in mind when I change my tire configuration.

I do have a mix of 1/4in and 1/2in hardware cloth so maybe I'll make mixed strategical use of both. I've already used 1/2in to close the gaps of the roof overhang.

I will leave this lesson learned for anyone who comes by that is building a mobile coop like this. Waterers with the nipple are a pretty crucial choice for the coop. The waterers that have the trough ring with open access to the water have to be level which means at a minimum you'll be forced to hang the waterer and even then water will be spilled. I found that even with just 11 birds I was refilling the 4qt size daily and almost all of that was being spilled into the coop. I don't need to tell any of you the problems with this but for anyone who comes along new to chicken keeping this will cause numerous problems not the least of which will be health problems due to wet living conditions and wet freezing chickens in the winter.

I invested in a heated waterer with the nipples, trained the chickens on it within a  couple of days while maintaining access to the other waterer. Even once they all learned to use the nipples I noticed I can now go a week without having to top off their water in a 2 gallon capacity waterer.
4 months ago

thomas rubino wrote:Hi Shawn;
Looks really good already!
Here is what I have noticed.
I would put larger wheels on the back, it looks like it would skid instead of roll if the ground is sloped.
I would add a diagonal brace on each lower corner to stiffen them up.
I have heard you want 1/4" hardware cloth to keep out weasels.

Great job!

Thanks for the feedback Thomas!

I do have plans to improve the wheels because that has been an issue given my property is all sloped with some terracing. I had ultimately planned on using retractable wheels and the current configuration is intended to be temporary. I recently discovered an old YouTube video of someone that used trailer jacks retrofit with pneumatic tires and I am considering trying that. Alternatively I may just move the wheels back so they sit closer to or beyond the edge of the main frame.

All that said I am pushing the limit of this wheel configuration and am thinking of at least adding two more wheels for stability and durability (one on the inside of each side).

More bracing will be added, very good call. I had some in the front and removed them while iterating on the trailer tongue.

Is 1/4" recommended over 1/2" or are you saying just something smaller than the 2x4in welded wire?

Given the gaps I'll have if I keep a fixed wheel system in place I wouldn't bother going 1/4in over 1/2" but maybe there's an argument if I switch to a retractable wheel system where the frame can rest fully in contact with the ground.

Thanks again for the feedback it is greatly appreciated!
4 months ago
Seeking constructive criticism and any suggestions for improvement on this mobile coop and run.

Housing is for 11 total layer chickens comprised of 10 hens and 1 suspected rooster.

I'm in Northeast Ohio, hot summers here are into the 90-95F range. I believe we're USDA zone 6a so we get below zero but not too bad.

Design Summary

Run dimensions: 8x10x5.5 (ft)
Coop dimensions: 4x8x4 (ft)

Built up from a square 4x4 frame.

The coop is raised off the ground level frame by about 2ft.

Roof is simple shed-style roof with a pitch of approximately 3:1 using semi-transparent corrugated poly sheets on 24" OC supports.

Run is wrapped in 2x4 welded wire. Run access door is covered in 1/2in hardware cloth.

Coop framing is done with 2x4 for the 4 vertical posts, primary horizontal members and floor framing is in 2x3. Roofing frame is all 1.75x1.5in (2x4 ripped in half). The goal was to reduce weight in the top to prevent it from being very top heavy.

Run framing is entirely 1.75x1.5in.

Should I open up the top of the sides (the triangular portion) to increase ventilation?

Planned Improvements
Convert to external nesting boxes

Run a 10" bedding retainment board full width of coop and raise exit door and ramp up above it. This is all about better supporting deep bedding.

Replace single horizontal roosting bar with ladder-style roost bars.

Wrap bottom 2-3ft of run with 1/2" hardware cloth.

Replace tarp with more poly roof panels, either fully transparent or semi-transparent.

Side windows for additional ventilation in the summer, I'm thinking the size would be 12x12in or 12x16in.

Move the wheels back so they are beyond the rear of the frame to improve mobility.
Side view looks like this now -l---o-l but I would change it to look like this -l----l-o
4 months ago
This is a tip for anyone who funds/buys the DVD's here or any large time-sensitive downloads anywhere else and is somewhat tech handy.

Even having a good Internet connection I use this method because it ensures I get the files downloaded and I don't like to sit around waiting all day. The resumable download tools are a much better general solution but here is another option.

Pay for a virtual server for just a day or so, some VPS are so cheap now I just keep one on hand just for this purpose. Digital Ocean has VPS for $5/mo.

This is all terminal stuff so you'll have to login to the server with a tool called SSH and do terminal commands and such. For those that aren't techies this might be an insane endeavor but download speeds are absolutely insane off the charts compared to what most residential Internet services can offer. I just downloaded the Better Wood Heat 4-DVD set in like 4 mins.

I'll eventually then have to download them to my computer from my own server but it avoids the anxiety of downloading them before my token expires and at my own leisure.

I'll be happy to provide a little support to anyone who chooses to undertake and is in a bit over their head, I know some folks had some issues getting their token and they expire soon.
Awesome work, and I thank you for taking the time and effort to record and post these videos.

Nothing like building a shelter in safety gear and pajama pants.
7 years ago
I think the plain text emails are better than marketing emails that companies probably spent thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars designing templates for.
I was looking into similar needs to stain/paint our deck. We're a little concerned about chemicals in most paints/stains and our neighbor has a coy fish pond so I'm pretty careful about what I do in my yard so as not to kill her fish. Apparently the previous owner would stain the fence every couple years and wipe out her fish. Whatta jerk!

I'm not sure where I found this at, maybe it was here. Either way maybe it will help you in your search.
8 years ago
I understand and agree with the point Bryan made on the audio quality. I also understand that the wireless lapel mic systems are pretty expensive if you are not going to use them all the time. There has to be a bluetooth transmission lapel mic that can work with smartphones, I imagine those would be much more affordable.

Erica what are you using to record the video? Smartphone or some type of camera? Maybe we could help you select and purchase a lapel mic. And by purchase I mean contribute funds.

If you are already using or have any experience with video editing software you could do it this way for cheap.

I would be more than happy to do the necessary editing to match the audio with the video, for free of course.
8 years ago
@Erik Weaver on one hand I feel like saying "Bah details, nitpicking!". Then on the other hand I agree. At the end of it though we are talking about a title, which means we need to condense all these wordy (but valid and accurate) ideas into a short hard hitting DVD title. To do that I imagine no matter what word-smithing we do the title in the end is going to have verbiage in it that is subjective and open to interpretation. Aside from using approximately 10 times less wood than traditional wood stoves everything I hear about RMH has been very much open to interpretation; virtually no smoke, safe, cheap. I doubt none of this but just pointing out that, yes some people are going to realize its not a magic wand and be upset.

I say lets just be subjective. Leave the concrete stuff for the back of the DVD and for the contents of the video (maybe some subtitley stuff).

I re-present my last contribution because I just like it so much.

Rocket Mass Heaters v[n.n]: more heat, less wood, sexy stove