So easy to move! We have varied terrain with some slopes and choppy ground, using a small wheel design wasn't a good option, so we went big!
- 4, 10 inch metal rimmed never-flat tires
- 54 sq ft of ground space with full head height at 84"
- 2 roost bars, sleeps 6 Turkeys
- Light weight and easy to move, sturdy framing, surprisingly agile
- Corner hooks for hanging feeder/drinker
- Seasonal tarp roof for shade and rain protection, roosts above tarp line for wind protection.
- Skirted with 2ft chicken wire
Wheels are mounted on a carriage bolt, excess bolt material was cut off after nut was installed.
We used 10 ft conduit as the roof frame, to keep it lightweight. It's a different grade of material than PVC and shouldn't get brittle as fast. The bottom is covered in 1/2" 3ft hardware cloth, the top is 2x4" welded wire at 5ft. Put a screw through the conduit and then a bracket over that. Full size walk-in door for easy access.
After getting the frame done we propped it up on jack stands to install the wheels.
2x4 roost bars, 2 of them 2.5 ft apart in the back half run the width of the tractor and double as added support to the frame. Zip ties hold the wire to the conduit. Wire is affixed to the frame with screws.
We use ground screws to stake the skirt down. To move the tractor we pull the stakes up, use them to hold the front of the skirt up by twisting it into the wire around the base, giving it a shove 10ft forward, then fold the skirt back down and reinstall the stakes. It rolls easily, doesn't take much of a shove.
So far we have used it for bachelor roosters and growing out turkeys with success. We've also made a second one. Each one costing a total of about $250 by the time you account for hardware, screws, wire, wheels, framing and tarp. The tarp we folded to fit and anchored with screws/washers.
We looked at a lot of ideas before this one fell out without plans. It could be more predator secure, knock on wood! Ease of use and moving it was a priority. I'm not convinced the skirting will stop a savvy and focused predator but it would stop a casual one. The goal is to fence the whole field in and rely more on field security than tractor security. Potentially having LG dogs on duty in the field along with a couple of goats or sheep.
Our next build will be a year-round tractor coop design, insulated above ground coop with full ground access and permanent roof. Imagine if you never needed to clean a coop floor ever again... Until it snowed and was stuck in place until thaw.