BackYard Chickens › Chicken Coop Plans › Old Style Hen House Tractor

Old Style Hen House Tractor

The Red Roost Inn


Our miniature version of an old style hen house as a chicken tractor

red roostinn

We began this building project with the following materials:

24 - 2" x 2" x 8'  pine boards

  3 - sheets of plywood 4' x 8'

  2  - 2" x 3" pine boards (roosts)

  4 sets of hinges/latches

36" hardware cloth (bottom of building and windows)

chicken wire (we used 48" and 24")

  1 gallon rustic barn red exterior paint

Here's the framing:


The building portion of this tractor is well ventilated through the old style windows on the top.  The size is 8' x 3' and includes hardware cloth on the bottom (no poop cleanup), a single door entrance to secure birds at nightfall, and 4 roosts inside.  I have 16 Cornish X's in it comfortably each evening.

Here's inside the building:

Inside the building

We framed in one door to the building to secure the chickens at night. 

Doorway on chicken tractor

We added 3 gated openings to the run: one on top near the front to drop in food and water easily,                   one in the very front to let the chickens free-range and shoe them back in, and finally a tiny gate so                  that the hen house door can be opened/closed each morning/night. (It's drying on top in this pic.)

gates on Old Style Hen House tractor

We still need to add wheels/skids to this tractor, but will wait until the current batch of meat-chickens are finished out. (We can lift it to move it with a couple strong boys and dad.) We estimate our tractor cost about $100 in materials.  Here's the end product:

Red Roost Inn

(I believe this could be permanent housing for a small flock if someone desired, and if a nest box was added in the interior, and a roof hinge used.) 

Comments (4)

I really like this simple easy design. If you put together kits, I'm sure people would want to buy them in Cailfornia. Shipping may be a bit expensive though depending on the weight. I am thinking of integrating this design into a design I am planning on using. Only real difference would be to place the house section over the bottom section to make cleaning easier (less bending down) with a ramp to the bottom built into the inside part of the house portion.
Where's the wheels?
I used this design this past year and had problems moving it alone due to the size even with wheels. I also had trouble getting the birds when I needed to collect them for butchering or switching tractors. Overall it is a great design just needs a few tweaks.
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