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Bootleg Tractor

By torumekian, Apr 16, 2012 | | |
  1. torumekian
    Hi BYC'ers
    i just finished my first chicken tractor (or first chicken coop of any kind for that matter, ive never had chickens of my own and wasnt raised with them) and i had done a little rummaging through this site so now that im finally finished i thought i would submit my tractor pics here. i Live in a city in California that doesnt allow chickens in the city limits but have cleared with my neighbors before i started and they were all on board. so without delaying too terribly much heres what i have set up so far:

    its about 12 feet long and 4 feet wide. the coop portion is 4ftx4ft wide and 4 feet at the peak of the roofline. those white vents are 6x15 inch aluminum vents slanted down to help keep rain out and still provide ventilation.the doors open on both sides, the left side has trim over it so that its always seated on top so that its less likely to allow water inside. there is a lip inside the bottom front of the doors 1.5 inches tall and has weather stripping on it to keep out rain from the bottom of the doors. the roof overhangs about 6 inches on all sides. all the gaps were sealed with an outdoor silicon based adhesive then painted over. the run part is 4 feet tall and the are under the coop is 2 feet. the nesting boxes have screw eye latches to keep the lids open when getting the eggs out. i dont have handles on the front side to lift it yet because i havent decided what im going to use for it. either i put long 2x4 rails down the side and shape into handles and pick it up like a wheel barrel, or i was thinking maybe large screw eyes and then attach a rope or chain. the wheels are 10" appliance dolley wheels that hold 300lbs each. i picked up 6 pullets from an egg ranch saturday morning and today and yesterday all 6 have laid an egg each. 4 of them are laying in the nests but 2 so far lay outside them, one lays in the corner of the coop on a spot where she has a small pile of pine shavings and the other has been laying in a spot she dug into the grass (or lack there of). any suggestions how to encourage the other 2 ladies to lay in the nests, i tried the ping pong ball thing the first day and thats how the first 3 laid there. second day i went and bought crappy store bought eggs and put 1 in each nesting box hoping they would get the idea. today it was 4/6 in the boxes. should i just keep at it with the store eggs and leave them in till all 6 ladies are using them? or do i run the risk of kicking someone into brooding mode and she stops laying? any advice would be appreciated.
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    At this point im just about done, i still have some final tweaks to make that im debating how i wnat them, like the hanging food and water. at the moment i have it near the ramps becuase i thought having it accessible from up to 3 sides was ideal, but i consider moving one tot he sam side as the other, but that would reduce the feeding/drinking access to 2 sides.
    [​IMG]
    from the other side
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    i put an awning over the chickens entrance to help keep rain out, not sure if its adequate yet, but im hoping so. its not painted here but i thought it was easier to distinguish from the wall unpainted so i used the older picture
    [​IMG]
    the nesting boxes are also incomplete here but are finished now. theyre about a foot wide, and a foot and a half deep. foot and a half tall at the back and 2 feet tall at the front, there is about a 4 inch drop from the holes in the wall to the bottom of the boxes.
    [​IMG]
    the ramps are painted now but easier to distinguish the design when unpainted so again older picture
    [​IMG]
    The girls/
    [​IMG]
    my son during construction looking for the 'cheeks'

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  1. Kimbroe1981
    So far so good. it's 4x8. We've got 10 chicks, about 4 weeks old in there (& 2 Guineas). We haven't completely finished it yet since our plans for the chickens have kinda changed. We were planning on them being free ranging, but since our neighbors came over and informed us that our 2 big dog have been killing their cats & chickens we've had to rethink our coop & run. We've since gotten rid of one of our dogs (the leader of the trouble) and our other is minding much better. But we still can't free range them since he's lost our trust with other animals. I can't wait till we get it completely finished, it's gonna be amazing.
  2. torumekian
    how did your coop go kimbore? ive made a few changes to mine since this post. since summer is going to be about 110 here soon i tripled the size of the waterer and had to give additional support so there are a pair of 2x4's across the top just underneath the wire to support a 3.5 gal waterer and another for the food dish. i also made myself a rig ou of 2 stainless steel bowls and some scrap metal for an on demand grit and oyster calcium dish. i also picked up a suet cage for pet birds and mounted it inside the coop so that i can put larger greens inside and they cant eat too large of pieces. ill stuff a head of lettuce or cut some swiss chard from the yard and fill it and they peck pieces as large as they can through the openings. also put up a hook at the base of the nesting boxes and in the roof i put some of those cheap eyelets with the hooks so that i can prop up the nesting box lids to free up my hands for the eggs. ive also put down some plastic netting on some swinging gate setup so i can have a mobile fence for them. i drilled a hole in a 1" pvc coupler. and then put a bolt though it at the base of the coop door. on both sides. then i have a piece of pve about 38 inches long, and i have 40" plastic fencing zip tied to that, and i push it into the coupler. then about an inch from the top i have a large nail, it sounds funky but works great. the pvc fence post so to speak pivots on the bottom so i can walk inside and then i pull it around the nail for security, wont keep humans out, but is more than enough for the chickens.and then on the other side, is the mirror image of it. then yiou have your fencing shapeable to your needs. and you can also remove the pvc pipe from the coupler and move the fence separate from the coop. so now you can move the coop as needed and attach teh fence so they have a greater roaming space. ill try and take some more pictures and update this post later.
  3. Kimbroe1981
    Love your tractor. I've been looking for designs that I like to start designing my chicken coop. I've taken lots or your ideas in to my design. We're gonna start building ours tomorrow! I'm so excited to get our chicks into their own home. Great Pics too!!

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