September 27, 2012

Building a chicken tractor. 

With the influx of new baby chicks this summer, extra chicken "families" needed a separate area from the older chickens. I decided to stop gazing longingly at other peoples chicken tractors and build one myself. With the help of my son, we did just that.
First, I looked around the yard to find all scrap lumber and bits and pieces that could possibly be used. The size and shape of the tractor was determined by what I found. Firstly, we started by building a simple A-frame.
Next, we built a platform for the nest area and a little off-the-ground porch for them when it rains. Two hatches were added for access to the nest for cleaning, and the bottom for food and water.
Chicken wire was carefully and tightly stapled on over the whole structure.
We put on a partial roof with some left over metal roofing from the chicken house.
Hinged doors were added to the hatches (the hinges were the only thing I had to buy for this project).
I found an old garden cart that was rusting away in a grass pile. The tires were perfect for this. They should be mounted slightly above ground so that when you tip it up, they touch but otherwise don't hold the structure above ground surface when it is sitting down.
Little Black Hen and her chicks were delighted that they could peck, scratch and eat grass to their heart's content.
It is now parked close to the big chicken run in the back, so that they can all adapt to each other without worry of pecking and fighting.
This was such a fun and successful project, I want to build another one for next spring. The only difference would be a large person-sized hatch at one end so that if there is ever a reason to get in there, (to help a sick chicken, for instance)  it makes it possible when only one person is at home.