Chicken Tractor Woes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Fowl Mom, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. Fowl Mom

    Fowl Mom New Egg

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    Oct 21, 2013
    I am new here ... I guess I should say this is my first post ... my Girl Scout Troop and I have been lurking here for a while

    One of my girls is building a tractor for the Ag Department at the high school ... they are trying to establish a living classroom with live animals instead of books... many kids are not living on farms ... school board was worried about having calves, horses , sheep or goats and teacher decided that with chickens the kids could see life cycle from egg to adult bird either producing eggs or meat... school board withdrew funding ...

    jump ahead to my scout ... when it came time for her Gold Award project she wanted to do something for the AG Department ... trying to establish chickens was what the school board would approve if the class could come up with the money ... so with teachers blessing she decided this would be her project ... we have raised most of the money and have had donations of supplies including 4 10 inch pneumatic wheel/tire assemblies that were donated... the tractor is based on one we saw here and borrowed basic design (thanks) ... it is 5x12 feet long ...

    Our problem... no one helping can agree on how to mount the wheels to make it easy to move so it is at a stand still... any ideas will be appreciated ...

    this is what it looks like after 4 afternoons of 3 girls with tools and the help of a few adults with too many ideas ... it does have the door / gate on it where Andrea is peeking out , I just didn't get a picture...

    I think handle on the end closet to camera with two wheel on each end of an axel at coop end and some system to raise it up enough to roll ... just past the door Andrea is looking out will be an egg box extension with opening roof to make egg collection easy without going in pen ... A girl can get on each corner as it is and lift tis end off ground... I think it will work but the men helping say it will be too heavy to roll and have kidnapped our wheels [​IMG]...

    any help would be appreciated

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Welcome.

    Can you describe the wheels that you have in more detail or post a pic.

    You may only need two.
     
  3. If you have a bicycle looking whelk with a hub that can accept an axle you can mount it on the outside of the tractor using u clamps.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    for an axel I used a length of 1/2" black iron pipe with a 3/8" all thread rod through the pipe. Then put lock nuts and washers on both sides of the wheels. You can adjust the dimensions of pipe and all thread to match the size of the axle hole on the wheels.
     
  5. Fowl Mom

    Fowl Mom New Egg

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    Oct 21, 2013
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Then you could go with 3/4 black iron pipe and 5/8 all thread. Just make sure a 5/8 bolt will fit in the center bore.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  7. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    When the ground is hard frozen, or during a dry stretch, I move mine on trailer jacks. Once the ground softens up, I use turf tires to move it around. Unfortunately, it is so heavy that it is best moved with a lawn tractor. You can take a look at our effort by clicking the "my coop" link underneath my avatar.

    The problem with a heavy tractor is devising an efficient means of getting it off of the ground and onto the tires. Ours is a primitive approach, hopefully soon to be replaced with wheels that swing into place like you see on many lighter tractors. There are some good ideas here:

    https://www.google.com/search?q=chi...8WVJMv5yQTN24Jo&ved=0CBwQsAQ&biw=1244&bih=831

    Best of luck with your project. You have come to the right place to seek this sort of info. Welcome to BYC!
     
  8. Fowl Mom

    Fowl Mom New Egg

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    Oct 21, 2013
    I like the idea of jacks to lift tractor. No gap would mean less chance of critters getting in to chickens

    Yesterday the kidnapped wheels were returned. They are now attached to half inch thick sheet steel. The strips of steel are 4 inches wide and about 3 feet long. At one end they welded 3/4 pipe and inserted threaded rod for axel. The wheel assemblies can be removed if it doesn't work.

    They say they are lifting tractor and bolting them on and we are continuing with the handle at other end as planned. This is the mounting position me and the girls first worked out but we were worried about gap that critters can get through. I was looking at the sweep on bottom on the huge sliding doors at Home Depot and it gave me an idea to add a sweep of some kind to deter anything trying to crawl under gap on wheel end. Going to take girls out to Home Depot this afternoon to look at door and let them come up with ideas for a way to guard the chickens. We are meeting later this week to mount the wheels as they are now. will try to remember pictures and ask more advice if it doesn't work.

    I am worried that the tires are going to make it too wide to go on the trailer we have to load it on to move it to the High School. We'll see. Thanks for ideas
     
  9. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    I put a 2" x 4" welded wire floor in my run, so I would not have to worry about critters squeezing or digging under it.

    Please post photos of the lift mechanism for your tractor when you can. Thanks!
     
  10. Fowl Mom

    Fowl Mom New Egg

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    Oct 21, 2013
    Sorry I haven't got back. The Chicken tractor is done delivered and has chicks in it .

    We ended up mounting wheels to a jack off a trailer that got smashed. I am going to attempt to post some pictures. The first is completed tracter. First wheels




    [​IMG]
    Completed tractor with Andrea who did it as her Gold Award Project



    [​IMG]
    My husband with first wheel assembly. The wheels were mounted on the tractor and
    kept the end of tractor about 2-3 inches off the ground.

    [​IMG]
    Wheels welded to jack ad centered. Now the tractor sits flat on ground. Crank jack and it
    pushed wheels down which raises tractor up
    [​IMG]
    We didn't change this end. The angle iron mounted to tractor has a loop. The tongue has a peg
    about an inch in diameter that fits in loop. Push down on handle and tractor rises. You can pull it
    around like kids wagon.

    [​IMG]
    End of first build day we had askeletom
    [​IMG]
    They are inside adding wire after siding had been put on.
    [​IMG]
    Adding nest box to side of house end.

    [​IMG]
    Building door/gate

    Gonna stop now. The girls did great. Andrea had 87 hours involved in pulling this off. Five others who
    helped on it have a combine total of nearly 400 hours. This is counting fundraising time, teaching the
    how to use tools such as the Miter/chop saw and things as simple as how not to hold the hammer.
    Hammering nails was endless to girls and what they moaned and groaned about. But they learned how
    not to choke the hammer. They didn't like the saw and loved the drill/driver. Aside from a few splinters
    and we had zero injuries.
     

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