Crib to Coop Repurposing Project


My Crib to Coop project is complete!  This project grew from the need for a better coop for my Black Copper Maran chicks.  They quickly outgrew the mini-coop they were in and there was not much space in the other two chicken living quarters.  Chicken coops and tractors can be ridiculously expensive (see more about this HERE).  I knew building one myself would be less expensive, but I lack extensive carpentry skills.  I figured that starting with some type of basic framework for a chicken tractor would be easier for me than to start from scratch.  I saw a picture online of someone who turned a crib into a chicken coop and the Crib to Coop Repurposing project was born.

I began my hunt for cribs at thrift stores and searching Craigslist, but most were priced higher than I wanted to spend.  I was then blessed with two donated cribs from two very generous women (thank you!!).

The basics I wanted to stick to throughout this project were to stay simple and inexpensive.  I looked around the homestead and utilized what materials we had available.  Paint was my most expensive cost.  This project was moderately challenging and overall cost roughly $100.  I am very pleased with the cost of this project.  It took me about 3 full days to complete.

I began by removing all plastic parts off of the crib and stabilizing the framework.

(By the way, when you build a crib, do it from outside the framework, or else you will be trapped on the inside. Lesson learned!)

Next, I strategically placed cattle wire on 3 sides to prevent predators from entering.  Since I was planning on making this a tractor (mobile coop) I didn’t go all the way to the ground with the cattle wire.  I didn’t want to inhibit moving the coop around or damage the grass in the process.  Instead, I left very sharp edges (insert evil laugh here) a hair off the ground so that all predators will encounter an unexpected surprise if they try and sneak under.

I wanted to provide extra support for the frame so that when I am rolling it around the homestead, it is very sturdy.  I painted four boards (which I cut to exactly the same length as the crib without messing up or cutting a finger off-major accomplishment) and secured them to the crib.

I removed the wheels that came with the crib and wood glued in a more sturdy set.  I let this sit overnight to ensure a strong bond.

We have plenty of scrap metal roofing that was taken off our shop when the roof was replaced.  I decided to utilize these leftovers as the roof.  I placed a support bar across the top of the two vertical sides (thank you for the idea hubby) and nailed the roof to the support bar.  I also added some decoration to make it a bit more cute.  Black Copper Marans lay a dark chocolate colored egg, so I decided to use this fact as inspiration.


I then screwed in several natural roosts and got the hubs to help me put in a nesting box and access door.  I didn’t want to push my luck and operate the jig saw!  I added a bit more decoration and voila, the crib is now officially a chicken coop!

What do you think?

Until next time…


23 thoughts on “Crib to Coop Repurposing Project

  1. What a get great idea! I have been wondering what you meant by crib to coop – never would have thought to re-purpose a crib that way! I will have to remember this idea if we ever more chickens at my church chicken co-op.

  2. I couldn’t wait to see it. We have a book about chicken tractors. I think your idea is better than anything in it. If you have a tractor you could put a hitch on it and move it with the tractor. I always look forward to hearing from you. So sorry about ladybug. We had something similar happen with a cat. Your story brought tears to my eyes.

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  4. What a great idea!

    I need more permanent roosts for my chickens inside their chicken house and we have an old crib in storage. If it works well, I’ll blog about it on The Misadventures of a Country Mom and link to this post if you don’t mind.

  5. Aloha from Hawaii ! You have inspired me to make a crib coop! I had a question about the nesting box. Is it a plastic tub or wood? And how mint chickens fit in the coop? We have such mild weather we were just going to enclose a run then add perches and nesting boxes but I’ve decided your coop would be perfect for safety at night. And lastly, how do they get in and out? Lol do you have a door or put them in by hand ? ☺️

    • Aloha! You are definitely in a beautiful area to raise chickens. The nest boxes I used were plastic storage boxes that way in the winter they would stay warm. I would recommend using wooden boxes since cold weather isn’t a problem for you so the girls won’t get too hot while they are laying. I mounted a wood piece on the outside of the crib to screw the nest boxes too. Make sure you get something that has a top (and be sure you can secure the top before you mount it to the crib) so you can access the eggs easily. Also be sure to add a perch close to the nesting boxes so the girls can easily get in the nesting boxes.

      I made an escape hatch on the opposite side of the nest boxes that I could open when they free range. I liked the fact that the crib had wheels because every week or so I could move it to a new area and not have to clean up all the droppings on a regular basis!

      I hope that helps, good luck! Thank you for being a part of the homestead : )

  6. Aloha from Hawaii! You have inspired us to make a crib coop! We live in Hawaii with year round mild weather and were planning on a “deconstucted coop” like just a safely enclosed run with perches and free standing near boxes. But since we want our girls to be safe I think this will work.
    A couple questions about your design. First are the nesting boxes plastic tubs or wood? I can’t tell. And how did your hubby get them mounted there. Also how do the chickens get in and out? Is there a door or you grab them by hand?☺️ Thanks so much!

    • I put 4 girls in here but let them free range during the day. Since the original crib wasn’t huge I only put in one nesting box. If you are planning to keep the girls in the coop all the time, I wouldn’t put more than two in there.

  7. Beautiful! I am about to bite the bullet and finally get some chickens. My final impetus has been provided by my sister in law who asked to use our old crib then changed her mind after I had it out of the attic; I would rather build a coup than haul it back up there!

    I love the simplicity of your design. Could you please give a bit more detail about how the nesting box is attached? It seems like the plastic wouldn’t be strong enough to hand from the edge, but I don’t see any bottom supports. How is it holding up overall? It this providing enough protection from the weather (we live in Memphis, so winters are fairly mild but nights certainly get below freezing plenty often; it also gets blisteringly hot and humid in the summer). Thanks for helping out a newbie!

    • Hey Karyn! Congratulations on your decision to get chickens, you will definitely not regret it. You are about to begin a wonderful journey! The Crib project definitely did not take too long and isn’t too challenging for a beginner (like I was!) The “nest box” I used was really a storage container I purchased. It had a totally flat front so I screwed in the flat surface with multiple screws. Since my chickens weren’t super large, it did not have a problem supporting their weight. You could screw in a support chunk of wood underneath if you plan on getting larger chickens, that wouldn’t be too hard to do. The roof served as shelter from the sun and rain (it was a metal roof). The perk of the crib is it was on wheels, so I could move it to the shade in the heat of the summer. In the winter I stapled plastic sheeting (landscape plastic) on either side (the bars side) to block the wind and help keep in the heat. Just make sure to take it down in the summers! Good luck, let me know if you have any other questions or anything else I can help with. Keep me posted!

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