Cheap and Easy Tractor for Beginners

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jimnjay, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    I should preface this by saying I am not a carpenter and you guys or gals that know that kind of stuff, be kind. I have to wing it all the way along. But this was a pretty easy project done in one day and all you need is a saw, miter box, drill, screws, staple gun. I spent a total $36.00 for this little unit and it will easily hold two standards or 4 bantams.

    I keep needing more seperate places for different situations; Brooding hens, Juveniles, Sicklings or whatever. I decided to try a little tractor.

    Step one was to cut 4 pieces of 2x2, 34 inches with 45 degree cuts one each end. I did not know what the width would be when I got it cut but it worked out to be wide enough to fit a piece of 48" width Siding or Plywood. I was able to get pieces at a local salvage place. They make shed there to sell with the lumber they get in. I got 4 pieces that were 36"x 48" at a cost of $2.00 ea. I braced two pieces that I cut to make an A frame. I then attached an 8' piece of 2x2 between the two A frames so that it followed the same angle. I needed to use L brackets to attach them as it was hard to brace it so it could be screwed together.

    Second step was to build a simple box with two 8' pieces of 2x4 and two pieces of 4' 2x4 with the 2" sides on the bottom. I then attached a piece of Siding (you can use Plywood) to one end of the frame.

    Third, I then attached the A Frame unit to the box made above.

    Next I had to measure two more pieces of 2x2 to make the front frame for the little shelter. You need to make 45degree Angle cut again and attach these pieces to the 2x2 running along the top as show in the photo. These pieces are shorter because they fit on the sides of the top 2x2. ( hard to explaine) Trust me!


    Now I cut the siding one piece was 4 inches longer than the other in order to make the over hang. I insulated each piece with foil backed foam used for flooring underlayment. I doubled it so the foil was facing both directions. I then placed a piece of sideing against the frame and scored it with a pencil and cut the triangles for the ends. I insulated the one that makes the shelter. I attached it with hinges so I can gain access to the inside.

    I then attached plastic or PVE chicken wire available at Home Depot to one side with staples. I made the second end piece for the shelter with the other piece of the plywood that was cut for the first end piece. I just lopped off one of the points to make and opening. I then attached the wire to the bottom side of the 2x4 with staples and attached a piece of 1x3 across the top of the wire in order to have some to easily remove the one side for cleaning out purposes if necessary. I just screwed it in the top 2x2 with 3 screws that can easily be removed. I stapled the sides and those staples would have to be removed to open the wire section as well.


    All I need to do is make attach a latch on the back and paint it. Keep in mind this unit as it is build is not predator proof. I am using it inside my fenced chicken yard. Predators other than dogs have not been a problem here so far in three years and this unit is for temporary situations.

    If you were building with predators in mind, you would need to attach wire on the ground and then possible cover it with some sort of sand and use hardware cloth as well as the wire. I need the chicken wire because I will have some mamas in there with their babies and I don't want them to be able to escape. It is only a tractor afterall and portability is the point of these units.

    I may need to make some vent holes in the back panel of the shelter for better ventalation, I will have to see how it goes. The rains here come in torrents when they come and I am always hesitant to add to many ways for something to get went.

    Jaynie, Bryant Alabama
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2007
  2. wendy

    wendy On the Hill

    Jun 14, 2007
    central louisiana
    Hi jimandjay,
    I like the tractor. I had not heard of them till I bought a book about chickens and raising a small flock. They showed some tractors in there. I think you did a excellent job!
    Thank you for sharing the how to's on it also. It may come in handy to know and it wasn't expensive! Very helpful. Kudos!
  3. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    Not bad for 'not a carpenter'! [​IMG]
  4. peepsnbunnies

    peepsnbunnies Songster

    Mar 31, 2007
    Central Florida
    Wow, I think you did a great job! It is hard to get DH to do much for me in the way of chickens. He has a finely constructed boat shed for the boat and a 20X30 metal carport for his motor home and misc, but when it comes to coops, I get the scraps of wood and wire and tarps! Someday I am going to get tough and get up the courage to do like you and build something myself! My hat is off to you!
  5. ChicksinBoise

    ChicksinBoise Songster

    Jun 14, 2007
    I wouldn't worry about defending your "non carpentry" skills. You did a fantastic job very cheaply too!
  6. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    Thanks y'all, I forgot to mention, I am working on some wheels to put on the Shelter side to make moving a breeze. I just have not gotten to the Building Material store to see what is available.
  7. nayeli

    nayeli Songster

    Jan 18, 2014
    I think it is a good job, looks well made! I might be making one of my own pretty soon!
  8. LauraSac

    LauraSac Chirping

    Mar 24, 2014
    Sacramento, CA
    I know you posted this a long time ago, but if you're still around, I'm curious how this worked for you. We just got our tiny flock of two RIR pullets on Sunday. The max we can ever have is 3 in the city, so we'll never need a lot of space. We have a permanent coop and run, but I'd like a small tractor for moving the girls around when we're not out to supervise their free range time, or for housing another hen during the quarantine period. This looks perfect. And affordable, too.

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