First Chicken Tractor

By Roxannemc, May 7, 2012 | Updated: May 17, 2012 | | |
  1. Roxannemc
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    Here it is...

    FIRST CHICKEN TRACTOR' was started a few days ago for my 3 EEs's, 3 Light Brahmas ,3 Buff Orps and 2 Barred Rocks
    With 11 five week old chicks in my bathroom i HAVE to get them out to the grass...NOW.. Its getting lethal in there!

    Built the runs 4 sides and painted them with outdoor paint, Thursday &Friday
    SAt put on the wire,.
    ran out of poultry wire staples Sunday
    Used untreated 2x2's for light weight.
    8x4 x4 high.

    First plan was doing it 2 ' tall trying to build cheap...but the idea of crawling thru the run to get stray chicks didnt appeal to me so changed it to 4 ' high.
    However that caused a few glitches.
    The hardware cloth i bought early on is 24" wide So had to add two 8 foot 2x4's to the sides horizontally for the 24" wire to reach in 2 strips .
    Also had to do the same with the ends as they were 4 'wide.
    One has a 2 foot plywood sheet on 1/2 of it it where the coop will attach.
    The other side of this will be the door.
    End 2 is all screen but also needed a center piece for the wire to meet correctly.....DARN!!!

    Glad i used the 2x4 on the sides as my 165 masitff Sophie might like a little chicken nugget snack. She isnt too agressive so this should stop her. Luckily my male Mastiff Jackson is banned from the front yard to play
    .He WOULD go thru this run like a bull in a china shop.
    House screens have nose holes and the 16 foot chihuahua run built of 1x2s,2x2's and chicken wire was destroyed,smashed flat... in one 10 minute period last summer while he jumped in and tried it out .

    Chicken Runs start...

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    RUN FINISHED!!Took about 4 days of working 4 hours a day The plywood end will be where the coop attaches
    The coop is a a separate entity to move on its own .less weight of the run as its not THAT light
    .Also intend on a double layer of screen on the sides b/c of my large dogs.One layer of screen may not be enough.My door or the opening isnt made evenly .bad measuring....my only negative.... but it worksfine.Girls go out today!!!

    Devilish Jackson[​IMG]
    .
    Sweet Sophie
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    Light Brahma girls [​IMG] and Ruby One the Friendly Barred Rock. RUBY

    UPDATE MAY14th
    NOT done with the run.... YET!!
    This weekend SWEET Sophie the 165lb girl shown here dug a nice little hole in the hardware cloth The one foot spot i DIDNT have doubled....Darn!!.
    I had even gotten, I thought, over protective and doubled the wire layer on each long side FOR 6' OF THE 8' RUN, tried to be consetrvitive as am running out of the wire..Now i see i have to do the whole pen to be safe.

    Might name it Fort Knox
    Doesnt look as nice now doubled with a 2 inch "air" space between(see photo below) but will be strong enough i hope.

    Good news! believe it or not this run is movable even with no wheels
    Worked 10 hours o n the coop itsself Friday hoped to get it done and girls could stay out all night.. Nope..
    Finished a lot but all girl went back in the bathroom. another night

    COOP DOOR;
    My plan is to keep the coop and run separate joining them after moving
    I am making the doorway from the coop extend out some inches maybe 4- 6" or more with 2x2's and then a matching hole in the plywood on the run top
    Hope to cut a hole to insert the coop doorway into. Then somehow join them so nothing is able to get in. Hope my coop door idea works. Will see

    My coop is REALLY REALLY Crude.SICK of spending money on it all..so used what i had here and made do..
    Old Johnny Cash songs been going thru my head... "A Piece at a Time"(says he built a whole car from different model parts he "took" home from his car plant job )
    Started using any wood i had even some nice smooth low knot woodwork project pine.(GOOD CAUSE)Need to sawzal off the pieces that are sticking up all over.
    Made floor solid hardware cloth that way poo can drip through.

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    OK my door IDEA......The tringular opening is sort of projected forward and i put a hole, hoping the coop door could slide into the pens hole
    .Well some glitches...it wont go all the way in as its a tiny bit shorter and i cant change the pen as the boards are piecemealed below the ply so cant cut it..
    Coop door does go up against the pen and i added boards on either side to take up the gaps pretty much hope nothing more than a mouse could get in AND of course close the coop door at night and wire it shut.

    This is their summer home.Too small for them all to spend any length of time in there. the 4x6x8 coop awaits them in winter.

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    .I made it like the door on a castle...flops down so they use it as a launching pad to the ground

    In the doorway the top of a 1/2 potato i have put over a long sharp screw that holds the hinge on the door. I was running out of screws and had to use what was availabe until i could find a shorter screw...Last minute at dark
    Hey! it stayed on all night and there in the morning.!!!!
    Buying some left over shingles from a guy for $15 tonite for the roof.Roof? where does it stop on this shape? screened a vent for air over the doorway.Painted today CLOSE TO ALL DONE!. TWEEKS.

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  1. Roxannemc
    kap8 the green weld wire sounds good but yes so many things you cant do b/c of more weight Gotta think LIGHT!!
  2. Roxannemc
    Thanks Karen helps that i enjoy doing it.Nothing like the smell of fresh wood and sound of a screwgun in the morning LOL
  3. kap8
    You probably will not have coons with two big dogs around! And, yes, I think it is best to keep coop and run separate if you are going to move them around. My coop and run just butt up to each other. My coop is almost done and I did put up more pictures. At the top of this page put Karen's Coop in the search box and you will find it. I give you a lot of credit for building your coop yourself! I had a LOT of help. I was only the assistant. You did a great job!
  4. Roxannemc
    Karen
    WE are done for if a coon canget through this wire waht next iron bars?HAHA
    Boy it does get expensive and the weight of the hardware cloth adds a lot.I think the double layer will hold as there is 2 inches between the 2 layer and i didnt tack the outside ones bottom down thinking that the dogs nails would snag in it and the wire would move as thjey tried to get them out... ..might discourage them...(I hope)
    I still can move the run by one end..I .just move it every day sort of wiggle it across the yard the width of the run 4' a day so they get a new spot each day. .Glad i didnt add the coop to the run.It is about as heavy as the run!!
    Hoping to hook up my lawn tractor somehow and move it even more. but afraid i will tear it up. The corner braces really seem to keep it solid though evne though i didnt do a very good job of them. They work.
    Put a pic up when yurs is done. I LOVE seeing everyones designs.Get so many ideas.
    Wish mine was so much better .I am just amazed at all the GREAT carpenters out there!!.
  5. kap8
    I think you are right. I used to have a large German Shepherd so I understand how a dog could swipe at the screen and tear a hole. Maybe a raccoon could do that too? A friend who just got some chicks was interested in the answer to your question, so he did some research. He found that chicken wire is not enough protection and told me to add a layer of welded wire so I used hardware cloth. Maybe you could try the green wire fencing? But that adds weight. This is getting expensive isn't it?
  6. Roxannemc
    Karen ,.hate to say this but Sophie the sweet 165 lb girl above scratched at the hardware cloth in a spot i hadnt used a double layer on and torn right through it. DARN!!! So long -short guess it depends on what trys to get in what kind of wire you need. This was the ultimate test i guess HAHA.I do think for me double hardware Cloth HAS to be the solution.
  7. kap8
    Hi this is Karen (Karen's Coop) and you asked me about the chicken wire being able to keep preditors out. I am not really sure about that. I see you used hardware cloth. I will do some research on that and let you know what I find out. Love your chick pic. Good luck with your coop and I would love to see more pictures!

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