Chicken Tractor...roof

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pfost262, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. pfost262

    pfost262 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I'm building my first chicken tractor. I'm making it so that the 4 sides are bolted together for easy assembly, disassembly, and storage. The only piece to the puzzle that has me scratching my head is the roof. My mind has been going nuts. I'm on a bit of a budget so I used 1x3's. I'm trying to figure out how to make a roof just at the back end for shelter that A) is lightweight enough that it won't warp the 1x3's too badly, B) will protect the hens and give them shelter. And C) will be able to come apart when I look to disasemble. Any and all suggestions are welcome. [​IMG][​IMG]
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  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    I wish you would have asked before you bought your material. 1x3" have no flat way strength unless braced a lot---which causes it to get heavier. These do not look treated so the ones on the ground are not going to last long? You can use a light weight metal/tin top ridges run from side to side for strength or add more bracing to make it good enough the tin will not bag and run the ridges the long way. I been using this tractor for about 15 years and it has many more years to go.


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    This one about 10 years. The pvc skids were added a couple years ago----as I get older I try to make things easier to use/move.
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    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017
  3. goldeaglenest

    goldeaglenest Out Of The Brooder

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    PD-Riverman, those are nice and simple, I like that and am trying to build something similar. But are they ok for winter? First time chicken owner and I live in Maine where it gets quite cold and windy and snowy. Would this be more like a summer coop for my climate?
     
  4. pfost262

    pfost262 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, used for summer only. That's why I am building mine to take apart for fall and winter. I don't have a large space to just have a contraption sitting around taking up space. I have two doz hens.I plan to only keep about 4 or so in my tractor for the summer while the rest enjoy the coop and run. @PD-Riverman I realize 1x3's aren't ideal. But I needed something cheap and light. I don't have a table saw to cut down 2x4's and I couldn't find a straight 2x2 that would fit my disassemble idea. If this (so far $18) tractor lasts my 2 maybe 3 year's i'll be happy. I plan on trying to seal the wood with some primer and paint to give it a little more longevity.

    I'm still scratching my head for a roof though.... lol I live on Long Island and am convinced those metal roofing panels are non-existent here. I can't for the life of me find them.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  5. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Ripping a 2x4 is the wrong thing to do---they will bow as you saw them most of the time. I go to lowes and get the treated 2x2's and yes it takes a few minutes to get some straight enough to use, but I can use some with a little bow in them---turning the bow the right way when screwing them together straightens them out. Roof's can be made out of many things-----plastic sheets, fiberglass sheets, even treated plywood with nothing on it. I use paint thinner---just enough to cut/thin motor oil(even used motor oil) so the wood will soak up this and leaves the oil in the wood----to make non treated wood last longer.
     
  6. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    The top one is set-up for winter here with the feed sacks stapled to it. The bottom pic---the roost are from side to side and the tin was some used tin I had and I added it to keep a animal from reaching through the wire and grabbing them at night---the top pic---the roost is from end to end. If you build one similar they can be winterized by simply adding panels of some kind to the sides to fix suitable for the winter----in some places. My chickens stay in these year round, but our winters are not to bad----rarely see snow. I have a lot of tractors----some can be hooked to with a vehicle and move to the new home with only a few minutes prep time---like this one----the rear section can be quickly removed(2 pin) and layed /strapped on the top of the front section and head to the new home.

    This one is built on a old boat trailer frame and I use the winch(on the side) to lift the ends(if you blow the pic up you can see the 2 cables from the middle of each end going up to the top of the pole sticking up in the middle back down to the winch---it only takes about 30 seconds) then move it up or around the farm with the golf-cart---yes with the chickens closed in the coop while its being moved. Only takes minutes to move it.

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    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
  7. pfost262

    pfost262 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you explain the motor oil wood preservation technique. I've never heard of this. I have a ton of used motor oil, and a good amount of unused. You think motor oil and paint it on to the wood?
     
  8. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Conway SC
    I use it like penetrating sealer----it has to be cut so the wood will soak it up---like stain----using paint thinner gets it thin enough that the wood will soak it up and then the paint thinner dissipates as it dries. You can re-coat a few days later if you want. It will make the wood last a lot longer than nothing.
     

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