building a chicken tractor

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cw, Jan 21, 2009.

  1. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    im gonna build a chicken tractor any thing to consider when building? the store bought tractors are whey to expensive for what they are. any ideas would be appretated
     
  2. dapper

    dapper Out Of The Brooder

    47
    1
    32
    Sep 27, 2007
    Maryville, TN
    here is a neat little site: www.pvcplans.com there is a tractor on that site. I would recommend some stakes to help with heavy winds. There is also a list of places to order special fittings. I may build one for meat birds.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    108
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Consider weight. Even to the point of adding up the estimated weight of all the materials in your plan. A lot of tractors run into problems this way.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. PoultryPromulgator

    PoultryPromulgator Chillin' With My Peeps

    26
    0
    75
    Jan 13, 2008
    Brisbane, Australia
    Find out what your costs are going to be before you start buying supplies. I am building mine out of mostly recycled materials and it is going to cost me $400.00 +
     
  5. Backswampcub

    Backswampcub Out Of The Brooder

    55
    0
    29
    Apr 7, 2008
    Richlands NC
    This is an excellent set of plans for the euro style tractor. These type work well. They do not blow over easily and using the wood they reccomend your weight is reduced. Too boot they look nice when built right.
    http://www.catawbacoops.com/
     
  6. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    10,061
    203
    361
    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    Use 2x2's. Those 2x4's really added a ton of weight to all my tractors. I think next time I will use a lot more 2x2's and only the frame will be 2x4's.
    DH always likes them tall enough to stand in but I am short and don't mind bending over to just go in and feed and water them. And to clean mine, I just move the chickens out and turn mine over. The old shavings come right out. Two of mine are on my personal page.
     
  7. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    20,149
    299
    401
    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    What you use and the size needed depends on the number of birds you'll be housing. I have several small pvc tractors that were very inexpensive. As my yard is completely walled, I only have to worry about aerial predators.

    [​IMG]4x6 divided in half lengthwise into two runs of 2x6. 2' tall. Made with 3/4" pvc pipe and chicken wire. Top is shadecloth.


    [​IMG] I hinged the top onto a wooden frame made from fence pickets. It opens in the middle. It is not fastened on, and would not protect from determined 4-legged predators such as coyotes or racoons or possibly even skunks, oposssum or similar, but it does protect against hawks or owls who would look for an opening, but not try to create one where it doesn't exist.


    [​IMG] This is a 4.5x4.5x2 tractor. It also is made with 3/4" pvc pipe.


    [​IMG] I fastened 2 fence pickets to the frame to support a luan top.


    [​IMG] This small pen/cage is made from 1x1 welded wire. I bought a roll at Lowe's and used the whole roll to make this cage, less the amount I cut out of the top to make an opening there (and I used the bottom grill from a parrot cage as that door. I added a piece of wood along one bottom edge. I also used a piece of 1/2x1 welded wire to make a door on the side. Cost about $15
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    108
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    One other thought, as I don't know where you live or the purpose of the tractor:

    tractors are QUITE hard to winterize properly for Real Winter areas. Sometimes nigh unto impossible. Not because they're tractors as such but just because they are so small. The problem is that you have such a tiny volume of air. Getting sufficient ventilation tends to also mean cold wind on the chickens and awfully cold temperatures in there; draft-free and staying above the outdoor temp (which is fine in say NJ but in MN can become a problem) tends to involve bad air quality. Tough choice. Best to avoid it if possible.

    Pat
     
  9. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,271
    778
    406
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    I built my tractor out of some 1/2 x 1/2 welded wire and 2 x 2's I had left over from another project.
     
  10. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    i should have posted more info. sorry.
    the tractor wont ever have to winterized, it is to keep the chickens grazing and off the sweet corn and melons during the summer
    weight really aint in issue ford 3000 w/ boom pole should take care of that,
    materials will be the hay loft out of the bard 1*s of all sizes, around 100 + boards
    but i would lie it to hold 12 chickens a least

    thanks
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by