SUV's as chicken coops?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by bare, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    $2.30 for a gallon of regular gas here today. Predictions of $4.00/ gal by summer's end. I'm thinkin' there are going to be a lot of late model SUV's dirt cheap. Always looking for a bargain, I'm wondering what model of SUV you would prefer for housing your chickens?

    I'm thinking Chevy Suburban, portable, lots of room in case I want to compartmentalize, multiple doors for access, lots of windows for solar gain, light and ventilation...

    What am I missing, could I make a better choice?
     
  2. Tater'sPa

    Tater'sPa Well-Known Member

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    [/QUOTE]I'm thinking Chevy Suburban, portable, lots of room in case I want to compartmentalize, multiple doors for access, lots of windows for solar gain, light and ventilation...
     

  3. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    You might be closer in your prediction than you suspect. I remember in 70's how cheap the Olds Vista Cruiser Wagon or Ford Country Squire Wagon became or the big Cadillacs with the 500 cu in engines became. People were dumping them at give away prices when if they thought it through, could determine that its cheaper to feed fuel to gas hog than to pay big bucks for newest most efficient econobox. If one had long commute best thing at that time was forget buying a new super efficient econobox and buy an older moderately efficient car with say a straight six and three speed and keep the barge as backup or when one had to take whole family somewhere. Anymore used 4 and 6 cylinder cars are cheap and plentiful, so if fuel price spiked, just buy a used econobox (the simpler the better) and wait to see what happens. Panic will screw you quicker than anything.
     
  4. boxwoods

    boxwoods Well-Known Member

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    Yes! I'm already thinking of my avalanche as a nice chicken coop. Has those removable tops over the bed. just need a walkway for them to get on the tailgate
     
  5. wy0mn

    wy0mn Transplanted RedNeck

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    I have my eyes on a local Hummer!
    We get the regular hail storm during the spring, but I figure the critters would be safe in this beastie.
    :)
     
  6. marvella

    marvella Well-Known Member

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    i think they might make a good greenhouse. after i've left the windows down thru a couple of rains storms, it gets pretty darn steamy in there. my neighbors use old cars for outside storage. whole fields full of them.
     
  7. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    I had a dead Chevy van in my yard I wanted to turn into a buck house or chicken house. The kids called it the walk-in mushroom garden, it was algae green. The problem was I would need somewhere else to store those windows, ammo boxes and other whatnots and I couldn't figure how I was going to push that beast to the backyard and over the hill.

    Finally some guy offered me $50 for it. I quickly unloaded the stuff into a dead Subaru, found the keys, signed the title and waved buh-bye with one hand a clutching cash in the other.
     
  8. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Ah yes, brings back memories... of the first hog tractor, a brightly flower-painted Volkswagon bus that I believe is still buried out in the field somewhere. We didn't bury it, it just sorta disappeared in the muck.

    ::ever tried to pull a Volkswagon bus with flat tires through pig muck with a tractor?::
     
  9. Snowdancer

    Snowdancer Well-Known Member

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    My first chicken coop was a 1963 Cardinal Model Travel trailer complete with overhead venting! :haha: Of course the first coop wasn't needed until 1984! :p

    It was truly a thing to behold! Those chickens lived better than many in third world countries!! Electric overhead lighting, cupboards turned into nest boxes and a hen sized door to outdoors through the original outside storage panel.
    There was even a water storage unit for use in non freezing weather.

    And it was always funny to watch a few hens peeking out through the glass windows on a rainy day!
     
  10. LWB

    LWB Well-Known Member

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    I have my eye on several 3 story mortgageed to the hilt mansions that I think would make terrific hay barns.

    There are a few outdoor saunas that would make excellent watering troughs.

    I plan to use a swimming pool to raise catfish.

    On a more serious note-there was a fire near me last week that consumed a 13,000 sq. ft. home. There was a Caddilac Escalade and a BMW in the garage that also burned. The owners were not at home. They were out on the town in their Hummer. What does a person need with all this?
     
  11. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    I've been considering using my '93 Plymouth Voyager van for a chick brooder/greenhouse/solar food dryer when gas gets too expensive. My grandmother's '87 station wagon could serve the same purposes. They'd be fairly predator-proof!

    Kathleen
     
  12. Sparticle

    Sparticle Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just as a funny, this song was on the Simpsons when they got a big SUV ....


    Can you name the truck with four wheel drive,
    smells like a steak and seats thirty-five..

    Canyonero! Canyonero!

    Well, it goes real slow with the hammer down,
    It's the country-fried truck endorsed by a clown!

    Canyonero! (Yah!) Canyonero!
    [Krusty:] Hey Hey

    The Federal Highway comission has ruled the
    Canyonero unsafe for highway or city driving.

    Canyonero!

    12 yards long, 2 lanes wide,
    65 tons of American Pride!

    Canyonero! Canyonero!

    Top of the line in utility sports,
    Unexplained fires are a matter for the courts!

    Canyonero! Canyonero! (Yah!)

    She blinds everybody with her super high beams,
    She's a squirrel crushing, deer smacking, driving machine!

    Canyonero!-oh woah, Canyonero! (Yah!)

    Drive Canyonero!

    Woah Canyonero!

    Woah!
     
  13. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    The people who can spend 40-60 thousand dollars on a SUV can afford to spend and extra 30 or 50 dollars a fill-up. Quite frankly I think some folks just have SUV envy. They see people with something they can't have and they want to see them hurt because of it. The same people who key your new truck because they can't afford one or they think you're destroying the earth by driving it or some such nonsense. Probably the same kids who would break your toys because they didn't have any.

    Some people just get absolutely orgasmic when they see high gas prices. They like to see those evil SUV owners getting hurt. People driving 50k SUVs aren't getting hurt by high oil prices. Poor folks, farmers, truckers, plumbers, pizza delivery guys, contractors and other "working" folks get hurt. Sally Soccer Mom and her Suburban that gets 10 mpg isn't getting hurt. For her it is psychologically painful but the extra money she pays out at the gas pump isn't going to have an effect on her lifestyle or her vehicle choices. An extra 50 bucks a week at the pump doesn't really mean a whole lot to her when they p*ss away that much on pizza and McDonalds every week. Even if the environuts get their wish and gasoline gets to 15 dollars a gallon Sally Soccer Mom will have the funds to get some mythical hydrogen powered wondercar. The poor folks will get the cast off SUVs and get screwed yet again. They won't be able to go out and buy the 70k miracle car that runs on sunshine and good vibes. They will end up with the 10mpg SUV they can get for 1200 bucks. I probably will because the 70k miracle car that runs on hydrogen, sunshine and positive vibes won't hold up to muddy roads, cornfields and snowdrifts and probably can't haul 2000 pounds of firewood and feed in the back.


    I'm certainly not going to run out and buy a hybrid car or anything. For one I can't see myself buying any new car. I go out and price new cars and they are 25k plus. I go out and price a new truck and they end up being 30 or 40 k.

    I have to drive old stuff and it doesn't get good mileage.

    I have to drive a truck most of the time and it doesn't get good mileage. Cars just aren't practical around here for daily use. A truck is. A car is nice to have for trips but I'd much rather just have once nice truck to do it all.

    I'm 6'7" and about 290 at the moment and I physically don't fit in mid size cars let alone compact ones that get 40mpg. I drove a new Taurus last week and my knees were in the dash and my head was smashed against the roof. there is no way I could drive that on a regular basis. For cars I need something in the caprice, crown victoria category and
    I only drive fullsize trucks for the same reason.

    I will add that Sally Soccer Mom has wrecked SUVs and trucks. They have been tailored to her suburban soccer mom needs. Detroit is more concerned with vanity mirrors and rear seat DVD players to keep her ill mannered spawn entertained than with locking differentials and skidplates. They are more worried about making it as difficult as possible for a ham fisted soccer mom to dump her truck or SUV on the roof rather than putting a good 33 inch tire on them.
     
  14. Kris in MI

    Kris in MI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OK, as someone who just bought a new suburban, I feel the need to stick in my two cents here. I know I'm putting myself up for being flamed because of my vehicle choice and because I'm "overpopulating" the earth with my four children.

    However, I feel like I have to stick up for those of us who actually buy large vehicle because we NEED them, not because we care about how jealous the neighbors will be. That's right, not everyone can transport their families in a four or five passenger car. Sorry, I have four children (who, by the way consume much less combined than most only children do) and we just don't fit safely in a car. Just about every 6 passenger car manufactured in the last 10 (or more) years has front air bags that cannot be turned off because, of course, there is a back seat where small children can ride. Unless the only small child in your family has to sit in the middle of the front because her older siblings are too large to sit there and have Mom or Dad be able to steer well (elbows, you know). In which case it is dangerous for older children to be up front because they interfere with safe driving, and it is dangerous for small child to be up front with the air bags.

    We have driven mini-vans for the past eight years (since learning child number four was on the way). But, with a 6'2" 15yo and two 5' tall preteens (plus a long legged 7yo) leg room in the mini-van is not adequate, so we decided it was time to 'upgrade' to a larger vehicle and chose the suburban over a full sized van. Better gas mileage, 4 wheel drive when needed, stablitrac, more safety features (and the front air bag is weight activated, so if you have a small one in front the air bag near that seat does not engage).

    Guess what! My brand new suburban actually gets 2-3 mpg BETTER gas mileage than my old mini-van! So there are some valid points to owning a SUV.

    Okay, climbing off my soap box and donning my flame suit (btw, filling the suburban at the pump costs the same amount as my mini-van, and that $50 a fill up does HURT, not everyone is rolling in the green stuff just cuz of what they drive.)
     
  15. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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    I agree that there are people who need the size and capabilities of a real SUV, which is becoming scarcer and scarcer. Just try to find one with a stick shift, betcha can't do it for anything much larger than a Subaru. However, I have a co-worker who'se first kid is on the way. He plans on buying a Suburban because it is available with three rows of seats, and wants to be able to fit his family and three goofy hyperactive hound dogs (OHBOYOHBOYOHBOY we're going for a RIIIDE!!!! X3) into the same vehicle. IMHO, he doesn't need a Suburban, he needs to leave his dogs at home.

    If the price of gas keeps going up, then I wouldn't be suprised if ethanol conversion kits start becoming quite common. All of those unused soccer mom SUV trailer hitches could wind up towing wood alchohol stills, so the vehicle could make it's own fuel on the road.
     
  16. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Way to change the direction of a thread Quint and Kris.

    My tongue-in-cheek post wasn't a put down against SUV owners in any way so you don't need to get all defensive about it here.

    But now that you mention it, I do note that 9 times out of 10 that big SUV is occupied by a single individual.
     
  17. Kris in MI

    Kris in MI Well-Known Member Supporter

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    No offense taken, bare. Just hit a nerve that's been hit about a billion times since baby #4 came along.

    I do agree with you that most SUV's are status symbol things that cart around heavy consumers who should just learn to be happy staying home and not driving all over creation to entertain and recreate themselves. If 1/2 the American population cut down their unnecessary driving by just a fraction the US's oil (and gas) consumption would have a huge decrease and maybe those prices would go down a bit. When gas prices were so high a couple summers ago dh bought an old reel mower at auction for a song and we had the kids 'play' with it to cut the grass in the yard instead of using the gas powered mower.

    :)
     
  18. degaston

    degaston Member

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    The price of gasoline is a pittance compared to the other costs of owning a car, namely depreciation.

    Imagine a brand new full-size truck that costs $40,000 and gets 10 miles to the gallon. If the truck gets better gas mileage, than my following argument is augmented.

    To drive the truck 12,000 miles in a year will require 1200 gallons of gasoline, or somewhere around $2400 at $2/gallon. Fuel costs are therefore $0.20 per mile.

    If we assume that the truck will last for 200,000 miles, the depreciation cost will come out as roughly $0.20 per mile. However, the bulk of the depreciation will occur in the first few years, driving the initial depreciation per mile much closer to $0.50 per mile for the first few years. (You're paying for the manufacturer's and dealer's profits, along with all those television ads)

    I have no idea what insurance costs for a new truck are. I pay $700 per year for full coverage on a 2002 Chrysler mini-van. Divide that by 12,000 miles per year to get $0.0583 per mile just for insurance. Modify as necessary for truck insurance.

    Sales tax on a $40,000 truck would be $2800 up-front (at 7%), before a single mile is driven. That's more than an entire year's fuel bill. Spread that out over a few 5 years and 60,000 miles to get $0.0467 per mile.

    Property tax on such a truck in Colorado would be over $1000 annually, initially, dropping off rapidly with the depreciation. Divide that by 12,000 miles and you get $0.0833 per mile.

    They say that even trucks break down and require repairs, diminishing even more the fuel cost relative to the total cost of truck ownership. One must account for future repairs in the total cost of ownership.

    $0.20 Fuel
    $0.50 Depreciation
    $0.06 Insurance
    $0.05 Sales Tax
    $0.08 Property Tax
    $0.?? Repairs
    ==============
    $0.89 Total

    Fuel costs are only 22% of the total cost of owning a new truck. If gasoline were to go up to $4.00 per gallon, fuel costs would only rise to 36% of the cost of operating the truck.

    People who are willing (and actually financially able) to buy an overpriced new truck brand new from the dealer are not going to let an extra $20 at the pump get in the way of them and their machismo. Until gas prices become a significant cost of operation, don't expect any major behavioral changes from status-concious consumers. To those who find the $700 monthly payments on such a truck to be painful, an extra $200 per month at the pump might be very, very uncomfortable. They will be the first to dump the money pit at a tremendous loss. I feel sorry for them. But I'll buy their truck.

    That said, someday I'm going to get myself one of those Ford F-350 Super Crew Trucks with the long bed and dually tires so that I can look cool as I drive to work in the morning. But I will be buying it a few years used from some chump who took the huge up-front depreciation loss.
     
  19. bare

    bare Head Muderator

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    Interesting post degaston.

    For tax purposes my vehicle is used 100% for business use. It's a 1987 Chevy Astro Van and gets 13 mpg. fully loaded, which it is constantly. I drive on average 20,000 miles a year. My cost breakdown is:

    .15 per mile for fuel
    Fully depreciated years ago
    .02 for liability and comprehensive insurance
    No sales tax
    No property tax
    Not figureing repairs, since you didn't in your example, but I do maintain my vehicle well and including tires, lubes and what not spend around 750/yr.

    So it looks, even with repairs, I spend about .20/mile for a dependable vehicle.

    That's why I always liked the IRS's standard deduction for vehicle expenses on my taxes, which if I recall was .45/mi. I make money on it!


    On the other hand, an employee living in the next town south of me, but doing more work and putting many more miles on a year drives my one year old one ton Chevy Van, that thanks to Mr. Bush's tax incentive, I was pretty much forced to buy for tax purposes. I haven't done taxes on it yet, but it looks to me using it as a writeoff, the taxpayers will be paying for the entire vehicle, including fuel and repairs. Is that cool or what?

    Here's a link that explains how it works:
    http://www.detnews.com/2003/autosinsider/0301/20/a01-64218.htm
     
  20. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    Didn't mean to threadjack. And I have been a bit surly of late and for that I offer my apologies.

    I do get so extremely tired of the SUV bashing. I have friends in SO California and Washington state who have had their vehicles vandalized several times by thugs whipped up into a frenzy by the SUV hysteria. You would think they were living creatures that roamed the roads eating Toyota Priuses and runaway baby carriages, excreting CFCs and asbestos and literally sodomizing Gaia in the dead of the night.

    I did see an old 70s era suburban rusting in fence row today and thought of this thread and actually mentally worked over how I could make it into a chicken coop to replace the one I last a week or so ago. I love mental exercises like that.