Thursday, May 24, 2012

Chicken Tractors

I finally got the latest batch of meat birds moved out of my screen porch today.  YAY!!!  My hubby was wonderful enough to build me a couple of chicken tractors so I could have room to move birds around.  We have the whole garden planted this year, but I can't wait to run them through it this fall to till up our soil and fertilize it for next year!

These are still prototypes (the lumber could be thinner, and I want heavier mesh to keep predators out) but here ya go.

The first model.  The top of the run is screens, topped by a tarp, held down by bricks.

That white thing on there is an old washtub that I used to use as a brooder but now use to make sure that the nestbox top doesn't flip up when I don't want it to!

The second generation.  I need heavier fencing, especially hearing how close the coyotes have been getting lately.  Still, the 2x4s could be replaced with 2x2s, halving the weight.

Nifty kick out wheels.  After this pic was taken, the whole thing was wrapped in another layer of fence, because, dangit, I don't want those 'yotes eating my meat birds!

looking into the nestbox area (which will be fitted with a lip and possibly dividers to keep bedding inside the boxes)

nifty new double hinged top idea.  I can get in to take care of feed and water, or the whole thing can be moved to get in the pen to catch.  I think I want hook & eye fasteners to keep it secure, but great idea from my hubby!

One half of hinged top open.  Spiffy!

So, we're still perfecting the plans.  I was absolutely flabbergasted when I moved the meat birds out today--usually they won't eat the fresh greens I pick for them, let alone eat scratch grains when I put them in the feeder.  Well, once they were out in the tractor, not only were they loving the grains, they were pecking at the grass.  This batch should be SO much tastier than the last ones . . .and the last ones weren't half shabby either!

Please feel free to contact me--I don't have this down to a science yet, but I really love to share experiences and compare notes on how to do it better.


  1. I love your wheels! My husband and I have been building our first tractor and we've been really struggling with how to get the wheels on there without leaving a giant gap. Are your wheels on an axle running through the middle?

    1. Thanks, KLA!
      No, there's no axle. They're both kick ups. Check back later tonight for a new post with more pics!