FLL Animal Allies Project : Chicken Tractor Design by TROLL Robotics

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by trollrobatics, Dec 6, 2016.

  1. trollrobatics

    trollrobatics New Egg

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    All,

    I am coaching kids for First Lego Robotics. This year theme is "Animal Allies" (http://www.firstinspires.org/node/3461). In this competition, team needs solve Animal and Human interaction problem and provided new or improved solution. Our team chose Chicken as an animal and research problems and provide the solution. Our team visited some local chicken farmers in Peoria to study problems.
    Team come up with improved chicken tractor design which will address some of the issues raising chickens. Our team learned lot of information from the website and team wants to share the idea and get the feedback from farmers and chicken owners. Please see the complete presentation for below link:
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0axinSq86VTWDJPN1BlT2ZJeDQ/view?usp=sharing[​IMG]

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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2016
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Way too small......unless that's a scale model?
    Lack of space is the number one problem with the majority of 'bad' coops.
    4sqft per bird absolute minimum is the current most popular space requirement.
    How old are these kids?
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I, for one, must admit to being underwhelmed.
     
  4. trollrobatics

    trollrobatics New Egg

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    Yes, this is the prototype model to demonstrate the solution. We have 7 Kids in our team and they are in 5, 6 and 7th grade and age from 11-12year. Thank you for input on living space requirements for chickens.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Prototype I understand, yes..... but if it's full scale, it's way too small, for even one bird except maybe a broody hen.
    It's very hard to do research and find more than the tiny coops that are all over the place, many have done so and merely replicated bad examples.
    Curious what kind of 'chicken farmers' they visited to come up with this design.

    Sorry to be so harsh, am just being honest...youngsters need to know the truth even if it might hurt their feelings.
    Critique is not always criticism.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2016
  6. trollrobatics

    trollrobatics New Egg

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    This is not a full scale model. It is just a small prototype for a possible bigger tractor in the future. It can be a different size to fit how many chickens you want in the tractor. We actually visited 2 local family owned farmers. Not a big chicken farm. We were just trying to build a chicken tractor with as few cost and materials as possible. We have a built in watering system and also a different position of wheels compared to other models we have seen. This tractor really isn't a solution to major poultry farms as much as it is a cheap and easier way of making and using a chicken tractor for family farms. It however can be used in major farms with a few adjustments to the model. In the future this chicken tractor can be bigger fitting more chickens. We specifically couldn't make this model big because we need to fit it through doors. We are taking this model to our robotics tournament on Saturday. This is our project for the tournament.
    Thank you for the feed back and feel free to reply to this too with more constructive criticism.
     
  7. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Go team Troll!

    Just a few thoughts having had kids who've competed in First Robotics before. In the PowerPoint slides it refers to the need for a "better" watering system design. They should define what better is. Is it space-saving, improved efficiency of filling, keeps water cleaner, etc? It is easy to say "better" but they really need to show that they identified specific problems and that their design directly addressed those problems. Even if their design does all that stuff they really need to lay it out there for judging.

    Also, and I know this is hard because your model is already built, but there doesn't seem to be an easy way for the chicken keeper to visually check the water level without actually opening the tractor. They may have solved one problem but inadvertently caused another. If the same design was used but in the pen portion of the tractor that would solve that problem. Basically, have the pen mirror the trapezoid shape of the coop and have the water in the pen.

    As for stability, if you were to place the trapezoid end facing in the direction of the prevailing wind, wind would flow up and over it, making it less likely to blow over. If both ends were sloped, it would have a wider base and overall lower center of gravity, further increasing its stability. Judges love to see it when a single design feature helps solves multiple problems so sell your slanted walls as a way to collect rain water and a stability increasing design feature.

    Additionally, the solid pen wall provides a windbreak and/or shade, solving a problem often faced by chicken keepers (and one the students already identified), namely, protection from weather. This is alluded to in the slides, but it should be clearly stated to demonstrate that the kids identified a problem and that they directly addressed that problem by incorporating this element into their design.

    Lastly, is there no nesting boxes in the interior or access for egg gathering? Perfectly fine if this is a tractor for raising meat birds that will be butchered before reaching point of lay. If this is the case, identify the tractor as such.

    Good luck! It looks like a fun project.
     
  8. trollrobatics

    trollrobatics New Egg

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    Thank you for the feedback. We will use want you said in our presentation.
     
  9. TalkALittle

    TalkALittle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Glad to help.
     

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