Susie's Green Acre
I am hoping that I do a better job taking pictures of my chicken tractor so that someone can replicate it if they want.
The origional plan was to put the coop next to the garden and then fence parts of the garden so I could let them weed and debug it for me. The problem was I could not see them from inside the house and the neighbors have a dog that I did not trust. So we moved the coop next to the dogs lot for predator protection. Sam will let you know if squirrels get too close so I know she would alert us if anything else came by that was not supposed to be there. I am very happy they are there. It makes taking care of the animals very efficient. However I look at the weeds in my garden and still wish that I had a way for the chickens to eat my weeds and bugs.
This is where the Chicken Tractor comes in. I decided to build one that I could move myself, would house 2 chickens, and could be used for young pullets before they can go into the big coop. So I got to work in my DHs shop. The only materials I have purchased for this are 5 2by4s treated, and locks. The rest of the materials came from building the coop.
I first built the two triangle end frames out of 2by4 material what was ripped in half. The bottom pieces are four feet and the sides are 42" (if I did this over they would be an even length of lumber but I started out trying to use what I had on hand). I screwed these pieces together then added the cross supports half way down (the roost will attach to these later on). I then screwed the triangles together with 3 foot strips.
Next we added the siding by cutting three strips of wood to hold the siding. These strips keep the edges from warping. We also cut a wider strip to go at the peak of the tractor.
We enclosed the end by putting a middle support from the floor up to the roost support (because we did not have a piece of siding left to span that width) and put in strips to nail the siding to.
We then made a frame for the other side with siding in the center. We added banding boards to the top and bottom. The top one is there so we could hinge the door. The bottom one is there so I can put it next to the side of my garden edging and still open the door.
Here it is with the door open. Up till this point we have worked about 5 hours together. I am going to make the run portion separate pieces that can be locked together. This is to ensure that I can move it by myself to whatever row I want in my garden. I will also be able to lengthen at a later date by adding sections. I am also going to leave the end completely open to the run as I only see myself using this in the fall after my summer garden is done and in the spring before I put my garden in.