Another tractor story......

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by WestKnollAmy, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I love building these tractors! This is my latest one. Now you all know I am not a builder but each one I build gets me closer to understanding how to make them better. Learning has been fun and sometimes painful.
    The chickens enjoy my efforts and make this all worth while.

    This time I painted the boards before I started......well, most of them anyhow!
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    I made this one 3x8 and 30" tall. I put a door on each end on the top.

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    I decided a tall roost and a short roost would keep them happy. The spring rains have kept them off the ground except when bugs float by or come to the top of the ground. Yum!

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    It isn't as tall as I know birds like to be but they can't have both in my tractors...fresh ground contents or high roosts.
    I try to attach the roosts securely for their weights.

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    I'm sure there are better ways to attach the sides and corners but this is the only way I could make it suitable for all the moving we do with the tractors.

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    And I am terrible at doors but will show this photo of a decent one I made and attached. This one actually has PVC on it now and will show more on it later. I am trying to keep the rain water from running in when I open them to check the nests and so far this one has done well.
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    I covered the door on the end as well as the sides. Ruler? Who uses a stinking ruler? LOL I stood the PVC up and measured with a magic marker.

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    Then simply cut with large scissors. Very easy.

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    Most of the time I have used roofing screws with a rubber washer to attach the PVC but since I was out of them I just used the roofing nails.

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    I left some over hang so the water wouldn't run inside too much.

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    I hid the door handle under the PVC since it is easy to roll up and get to the handle. No real reason, it just turned out that way for a more secure fit of the PVC.

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    This is how it looked when covered with the PVC. This is the back view.

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    And if you open that hidden handle and look in, this is what you see.

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    Doesn't take me long to move birds in!
    From the front looking into the back.....

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    And this is how I attached the front door that is uncovered. DH said I should put my boards on the top of the door instead of under the door to catch it. I don't know which is best but this tractor has it both ways so I can get more experience with it.

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    This is the finished coop. So far they are enjoying it tremendously. Except for the torrential rains that have kept the ground a soggy mess they seem happy.
    I am still trying to decide how to attach a nest box inside instead of using a crate. The crate can be lifted out for nest box checks and cleaning but is a pain when we move the tractor every few days.

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    I hope I didn't forget any photos. I am terrible at story telling so I thought the photos could give you more of an idea of what I do. It really didn't take me but about 20 hours to make this thing but I had many interruptions so it took me about 2 weeks spread out like that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 1, 2009
  2. EllyMae

    EllyMae Chillin' With My Peeps

    do you build them to sell?
     
  3. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    Actually, no.
    I have been thinking about it but in our area no one is interested. I have been building them just for my own needs and the fun.
     
  4. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    Maryland
    I'm digging that PVC roofing stuff. I haven't seen it at our local Lowe's (but then, I haven't been looking [​IMG]). Is it very expensive?

    It looks great! I'm impressed. I'm so not handy. [​IMG]
     
  5. SoJoChickens

    SoJoChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2009
    Fountain Green, UT
    Looks fantastic! I'm afraid it would blow away in my yard (our town use to be called "Gale"). I once had a greenhouse with those pvc panels and the wind shredded it. I think you've done a great job.
     
  6. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady Premium Member

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    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I live in an area called "Little Chicago", known for its high winds. Our 60 mph gusts haven't moved any of my PVC panels and I have them on many different tractors. I overlap the first wave on both panels. Check out my BYC page to see a few.
    I prefer to use the screws but if I haven't got it handy I will grab what I do have to use. The roofing nails are doing okay so far but I cringe with every storm.
    I bought the PVC panels at Lowes for about $12 a sheet, 27" by 10 ft. They come in different colors and lengths. The white was too glaring in the sun and the clear ones let in too much light, I didn't care for the green so I went with the tan. I think DH used the white on his M*A*S*H unit.
     
  7. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    Quote:at our home depot, the pvc panels are 2'x8' for 10 and 2'x12' for 12. the lowes sells 2'x16' for 20
     
  8. Crunchie

    Crunchie Brook Valley Farm

    Mar 1, 2007
    Maryland
    Thanks, guys. I'm going to have to check these PVC panels out next time I go to Lowe's. [​IMG]
     

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