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How to turn a stripper into a chicken tractor

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by colburg, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. colburg

    colburg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My neighbors had an old cotton stripper basket that's only been sitting there for over 10 years. So I asked and they gave it us for free. These old stripper baskets are all over the country so I thought I'd document this build in case anyone else would like to use one.

    The plans are pretty simple, weld the lid shut, flip it up side down because the top is expanded metal and the bottom is solid, make some doors and roosts. For now I just want to put it on some pipe skids and will pull it around with the tractor. We're putting 50 meat chickens in it to start with so it won't have nest boxes yet, but one of these days it may.

    This isn't the actual basket(I haven't taken pics yet). But this is what it once looked like.

    Here's what it started as,
    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Anyone who wants can chime in with thoughts and ideas.

    Cheers,
     
  2. colburg

    colburg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Finally remembered to get the pics off the camera.


    Here is the basket I started with. You can see the frame that is sits in on the right. The frame along with some other small pieces has to come off.

    [​IMG]

    A view from the other side, and of the floor. The plan is to flip this thing over and use the solid floor as the roof of the pen, and the mesh screen on the top as the bottom of the pen so the poop will fall through. I'll take the screens off of one of the ends and put up some boards for wind protection.
    [​IMG]

    The bar going across the basket is also part of the frame. There is also a "lid" on the basket that needs to be welded shut. The gap between the lid and the basket can be seen on the right side of the picture.
    [​IMG]


    Here's a pic of the top. A 3" hole on the right side will need a little patchwork too.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. colburg

    colburg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's another shot of the top.

    [​IMG]


    Pulling off a couple of the screens so that wind protection can be put up. That bar will come off also.
    [​IMG]

    Here's what's left once we got the frame detached. Ohh, look, free hydraulic cylinders to use on a future project.
    [​IMG]

    Welded on some angle iron that'll raise the basket a couple of inches up off the ground.
    [​IMG]

    A little magical computer time and wallah. It has pipe skids and got flipped over. It was a little heavier than I thought it would be. We bent one of the pipes in the process. Nothing a 16lb sledge hammer couldn't cure though.
    [​IMG]

    The bottom center spot on the basket will have a little door where they'll exit and enter.
    [​IMG]

    A view of the backside. One of the boards that's going in here will hinge so that we can get in there if we need to.
    [​IMG]

    Here's the floor. The middle section was a solid piece of thin steel like the side and roof. That's where the cotton would hit as it was blown to the back of the basket. I pulled it out and replaced it with some leftover expanded metal from another project. That size of screen allows the poo to fall through really well. I only hope that the smaller mesh screen will do the same and not get clogged with poop.
    [​IMG]

    I oughta have updates in a few days. [​IMG]
     
  4. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    Very creative! I think it will work great, and you've obviously got the skills and equipment to modify it however you want! You could even mount it on the running gear of a hay wagon or header trailer so it had wheels!

    Our neighbor down the road built a tractor on a hay wagon - it is huge, but it looks like it works great.

    How many chickens are you going to keep in it?

    The only thing I can think of is to make sure it cannot tip over in a strong wind. I don't know how long you will keep it in one place, but maybe you should anchor opposite corners of it??? We had a 10x10 steel (lined with thick plywood) 3-sided shelter on skids when we lived in Kansas. Thing was massively heavy, and built very stout. We didn't think it could be blown over, since we faced it east and most of the big winds there come from the west (or SW/NW). It blew over. Twice. The second time it actually rolled about 100'. We anchored it after that, and it is still in the same place, 12 years later. (It is on my husband's family farm). It was actually built so well that it wasn't damaged when it rolled, other than bending a bit of trim.
     
  5. colburg

    colburg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have plans of putting it on wheels in the future. My father in law gave me 4 donut spare tires and rims that'll work for this. A few bearing hubs and figuring out the swivel and she'll be good to go.

    I thought about using one of the old cotton trailers laying around the country, but this was free, and quicker/easier in my mind.

    We're going to start with 50 meat birds in it for now. They'll free range just like our layers. The other tractor I built from scratch doesn't fit in the orchard very well, so we may turn this stripper basket into the layer coop and use the other for meaties. Ultimately, we'd like to find another stripper basket and have one for layers, one for meaties, and use the too large tractor in the pasture for brodding chicks up to about 10-12 weeks. Free ranging in the orchard, I think we can get about 75-100 layers in the basket. The limiting factor may be the space for attaching laying buckets. We'll just have to find out in the future.

    On the windiest days of the year, we'll hit 60mph with gusts up to 80. There's typically one or two overturned semi's on those days. This basket has been on a trailer 4 ft off the ground for over 10 yrs and never went anywhere, so I think it'll be ok without staking it down. The only major change was taking it off the frame which may make a difference.

    Good questions and suggestions. Keep em comin.
     
  6. QuietPony

    QuietPony Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Wow!!!!! That's amazing!
     
  7. Stumpy

    Stumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So interesting! You should submit this to Farm Show magazine.
     
  8. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Hmmm...interesting. Not sure how that large expanded metal will work out for their feet.
    Can't wait to see it full of meaties and hear how it works out for you!
     
  9. colburg

    colburg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    aart, that expanded metal is just fine for their feet. I have 38 layers in a different coop right now that have no problems. They've been in it since September.

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. JTifft

    JTifft Out Of The Brooder

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    Very cool idea. I don't have the tools to pull it off thou. But I do have the land. I may have to keep an eye out for something similar. And my wife will hate you. :) Good luck with your flocks. :)
     

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