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How The Chicken Chuckwagon Coop D Vile Chicken Tractor Came To Be

  1. Farmlifeacademy
    How The Chicken Chuckwagon Coop-DéVille Chicken Tractor Came To Be


    The Chicken Chuckwagon Coop DéVille had much simpler
    beginnings. My wife asked for a wire cage to house some chickens
    for the children to pet when they come to visit the Farm Life Academy.
    She did ask that it be mobile - either by handles on the side, or wheels
    underneath. Okay - so, I got a little carried away . . .
    When she saw the chuckwagon door at the rear (stores the
    chicken feed) with the feed “chute” to ground level, and the elaborate
    watering system (optional) at the front . . . she dubbed the chicken
    tractor “The Chicken Chuckwagon Coop DéVille.”
    Being more familiar with woodworking than raising and housing
    chickens, I turned to the internet to investigate the needs of a
    chicken, and to see what was available in the way of chicken tractors.
    Most were utilitarian . . . some were cute, but I wanted this one to show
    off my woodworking skills . . . and, it had to be low maintenance. The
    thought of sticking my upper torso into the chicken coop to give it a
    cleaning every other day just didn’t . . . well, I just didn’t . . . I’m not
    gonna do that!
    The Chicken Chuckwagon Coop DéVille isn’t built like any
    other chicken tractor. I should know. I designed it as I built it. Yep,
    wasn’t planning on going back over it to take measurements and draw
    out the plans. But I gotta tell ya - there are some things that worked
    out very well. I’m proud to say, both the chickens and the family are
    enjoying the outcome! We think you will, too! And, your contribution to
    purchase the plans will help the Farm Life Academy educate children
    about growing, harvesting, and caring for a sustainable farm.
    So, let’s take the coop apart (figuratively) and take a look at
    some of the components. First, the floor of the third level in this coop is
    three layers of chicken wire, set at different angles to make the holes
    smaller, and lies underneath the roosting rods. You see - when roosting
    - that’s when chickens do a lot of pooping (in one place) . . . late at
    night . . . all night long. But, the poop simply falls onto the wire mesh
    and dries (some falls through to the ground while it’s still wet.) Did you
    know chicken poop doesn’t smell when it’s dry . . . but, when it gets
    wet - oh my! I keep my garden hoe handy, and in about two minutes
    (every third or fourth day) I scrape the dried poop (without sticking my
    upper torso inside,) busting it up til the crumbs fall to the ground below.
    Viola’! On the second level floor in the coop there is a plywood floor
    with shavings on it, but they don’t seem to spend much time there.
    Those shavings are as clean as the day I first put them in there.
    Second, there’s the nesting boxes. Boy, I read some bad stories
    about soiled eggs, cracked shells (from pecking,) and roosting going
    on where it shouldn’t. So, I was careful to design a sure-fire way of
    cleaning out the boxes from the outside . . . remove one short 2x2 and
    rake out the soiled shavings. However, building the boxes with our design
    has given us consistently clean eggs . . . no room to do anything
    but lay the egg . . . and clean boxes - we haven’t cleaned them since
    we first put the shavings in weeks ago.
    One more thing . . . this is optional . . . you do what you want,
    but I didn’t want the feed and water inside the coop. I had noticed the
    chickens will stand right over it and do their business or turn it over
    and knock it around. That’s when I built the feed “chute” inside the
    chuckwagon door . . . taking the feed down to ground level where they
    can stand on the ground and eat. Then I put a small roof over the feed,
    (to keep the rain off and shed the poop coming through the wire mesh
    above) on an angle, so the chickens wouldn’t roost on it. The water
    is both accessible inside and outside the coop and is easily filled by
    catching rain-water in the trough above, or by laying the garden hose
    in it. The water then drains into the basin below. The basin is easily
    removed (from the outside) for a quick cleaning as it needs it.
    So, there it is ... the how and the why, the Chicken Chuckwagon
    Coop DéVille came to be. Turns out, its been one of the most enjoyable
    things I have ever built. We wish you every success in building
    your own and hope you get as much enjoyment from the experience
    as we have. DID I FORGET TO MENTION ?. . . THE FRESH EGGS
    ARE A GREAT REWARD FOR YOUR LABOR!


    Plans are available as a PDF download with three bonus gifts when you purchase at: http://FarmLifeAcademy.com/chickentractor.html

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