My two chicks are getting really big and need to get out of their little brooder box, AKA plastic storage bin. SO here I am building a chicken tractor.
I have NO money. None, zip, zero, nada. I get my social security check on the third of the month, pay my bills on the fourth and on the fifth I have 46 cents left. What to do?
Day One of construction:
I went to Atwoods and begged for some discarded wood shipping crates.
This is what I got plus a ton of broken pieces. There are more, but you get the idea. I broke them apart with various tools. A pry bar, claw hammer, some pliers, etcetera
There were a lot of nails that had to be hammered out and removed. About 3 pounds of them in fact.
But the end result was quite a stack of nicely sorted wood in some Not-so-standard sizes, but usable just the same.
Now the work began. I looked at a lot of chicken coops on the internet. None of them looked quite like what I needed, but they all had some things in common. I just took what basics I could from those designs and put together the general idea. Here is what I had by last night.
Day 2 of construction:
Today, I put in a floor, some framing for the nest boxes on one end.
Over the next boxes will be some storage. A roost will sit between the nest boxes in the main area and there will be a door in the front for them to go outside to a moveable runway. I will use some chicken netting on the front, one side, and the bottom. The back and the nest boxes will be solid plywood if I can get some or boards if I can't. The roof will be tin corrugated.
Day 3 of construction:
Here is the updated progress... From the end with the box added for storage, and under it is the nesting boxes (not yet finished). You can see that the roost is already installed in the main living area. It needs a back door for cleaning and access.
From the front, with the chicken wire mesh partially installed. The small door is not yet installed on the bottom right.
Day 4 of construction
I have added the back door and trim to the sides and front.
Oh, but for the want of a peice of 1/4 inch plywood and some corrugated tin! I would be done, Yes, done. But I have to wait until I have some money or someone with a spare piece that they want to give away. Sigh!
Here is the front, No door in front till I have plywood to use for a door. But the trim is in place.
The opposite side needs a door on the storage box and the back of the nesting boxes down below. I already have the run ready for my girls to move in.
Darn, I am stalled. I need to get some roofing materials and something to make a door for my nesting boxes. No money, no gas in my truck to go anywhere to scavange for parts. I guess I will have to wait for the first of the month.... It's so frustrating.
Construction Day 5
The back door is on and the chicks are in! I still don't have a roof, but I found some hinges. (I need screws to put them in place, but that will have to wait a couple more days till I get my check. In the meantime, I put a wall on the storage area and a made a back door for the nesting box.
I put a temporary cover on the top so my girls could have a place to stay tonight. I built a temporary chick run till I can get some staples for the staple gun, so they can at LEAST start playing in the yard.
The girls like the yard, although at first they tippy toed around on the grass, not knowing what to make of that odd green stuff. They quickly adjusted and now they don't want to go in till it gets dark.
When I put them in the new coop/tractor, they freaked out. It was a bit big. And scarey and dark. And noisy (not in the house). They did like the roost, but Baby Chick, my RIR, wanted Mama hen, my leghorn to put her wing over her. Mama hen refused as she was 'roosting'.
I had to leave the light on because they were scared of being outside in the dark.