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Layer's Lair

By tjournal, Apr 28, 2013 | Updated: Apr 28, 2013 | | |
  1. tjournal
    Layer's Lair

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    Our finished Chicken Coop Tractor.
    My son Drew wanted to raise some chickens for a 4-H project and my wife had already been wanting some for eggs, so we built a small coop. We didn't want anything big, because we only wanted a few birds ... wound up getting four. A friend told us about chicken coop "tractors" that can be moved and that sounded like a good fit for us. He has 2 small coups with handles on each side so they can be picked up and moved, but we wanted ours to be able to be rolled so it would only take one person to move it. We figured we could let the chicks stay in a fenced in area with our goats during spring to early fall, then move them into our fenced in garden area during the months the garden is dormant.

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    Since my son wanted to use the experience for an upcoming 4-H project, he took a hands-on role, from buying supplies to learning about the various types of equipment and tools used and doing as much as possible himself. In the photo above he is helping rip a 2x4. We wanted the coop to be fairly light since we wanted it to be portable, so we only used a limited number of 2x4's and ripped a lot of the lumber to smaller sizes.

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    I roughly sketched out a plan and we revised it along the way as needed. It took us several weekends, working on the project off-and-on as time allowed. We are happy with the results and we both learned a lot along the way.

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    The bottom "run" area is 6' x 3', which isn't large enough to keep our chicks in permanently once they're grown if we want them to have decent space, but we plan to try to let roam around out of coop most of the time.

    The top area is 2' x 6' (centered above the run), with two roosting areas on the ends. The ramp is on hinges because it has to be raised whenever the coop is moved to a new location. Both ends open up for easy access to the roosting/laying areas. There is also a fairly large door on the long part of the top level, which we put to make cleaning/maintenance easier. ... I don't have a photo of that side, but it's the same size as the screened opening in the top level. We live in Southwest Georgia, so we thought this would be good for ventilation, too.

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    We robbed the wheels from an old push mower that we haven't used in years. We ripped a 2x4 in half and cut/sanded the ends down to a decent size/contour for gripping. The wheels are level with the bottom of the coop, so when you lift up on the handle end you get a wheel barrow effect.


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  1. Stumpy
    Great family project! It looks very nice.

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