Old Style Hen House Tractor

By ChickBond 007 · Jan 11, 2012 · ·
  1. ChickBond 007
    The Roost InnRed
    Our miniature version of an old style hen house as a chicken tractor

    We began this building project with the following materials:
    24 - 2" x 2" x 8' pine boards
    3 - sheets of plywood 4' x 8'
    2 - 2" x 3" pine boards (roosts)
    4 sets of hinges/latches
    36" hardware cloth (bottom of building and windows)
    chicken wire (we used 48" and 24")
    1 gallon rustic barn red exterior paint

    Here's the framing:

    The building portion of this tractor is well ventilated through the old style windows on the top. The size is 8' x 3' and includes hardware cloth on the bottom (no poop cleanup), a single door entrance to secure birds at nightfall, and 4 roosts inside. I have 16 Cornish X's in it comfortably each evening.
    Here's inside the building:

    We framed in one door to the building to secure the chickens at night.
    We added 3 gated openings to the run: one on top near the front to drop in food and water easily, one in the very front to let the chickens free-range and shoe them back in, and finally a tiny gate so that the hen house door can be opened/closed each morning/night. (It's drying on top in this pic.)
    We still need to add wheels/skids to this tractor, but will wait until the current batch of meat-chickens are finished out. (We can lift it to move it with a couple strong boys and dad.) We estimate our tractor cost about $100 in materials. Here's the end product:
    (I believe this could be permanent housing for a small flock if someone desired, and if a nest box was added in the interior, and a roof hinge used.)

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Recent User Reviews

  1. mrs_organized_chaos
    "Perfect tractor"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 18, 2018
    Love this! I may even steal the idea for my own tractor. I am finishing out my 6 meat chickens but would love to do another batch and not have to combine them with my current hens. The article shows all the details to mimic this build.
  2. 21hens-incharge
    "Nice design"
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Jul 9, 2018
    I am wondering about wire under their feet in winter. If used as permanent housing I recommend that be a solid floor. I would also make the house part taller to allow more head room.
  3. Texas Kiki
    "Neat idea!"
    3/5, 3 out of 5, reviewed Jun 30, 2018
    I am wondering how this chicken wire worked for keeping the predators out.


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  1. HorseChick21
    really neat.
  2. Dgevry
    I used this design this past year and had problems moving it alone due to the size even with wheels. I also had trouble getting the birds when I needed to collect them for butchering or switching tractors. Overall it is a great design just needs a few tweaks.
  3. Ullie
    Where's the wheels?
  4. sledwards66
    I really like this simple easy design. If you put together kits, I'm sure people would want to buy them in Cailfornia. Shipping may be a bit expensive though depending on the weight. I am thinking of integrating this design into a design I am planning on using. Only real difference would be to place the house section over the bottom section to make cleaning easier (less bending down) with a ramp to the bottom built into the inside part of the house portion.

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