Meatie Tractors, frugal unique designs and money savers?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bnentrup, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. bnentrup

    bnentrup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2010
    Central Indiana
    Ok, I am trying to find the post where someone stated that their roofing panels were actually some type of waste panel that the lumberyards had on their shipped wood loads.

    I have been building many tractors and have ways to save on framing that I feel I can share. Maybe others have better suggestions for cost savers for us 'penny-pinchers' that result in quality tractors that are frugally built on low-budgets?

    Here is the first concept/comment to add that I have discovered when building tractors.
    1.) Take 2x4 stock and cut with a good table saw. You can cut and make qty 2, 2x2's or 4 1x2's with a few simple passes. Yes, this takes your time- but you will indeed save money if you cut the wood yourself.
    2.) Alternative to roofing panels would be wood shingles. I have taken the 2x4x8, with a 12" table saw (10" will not rip the 2x4 on spine in 1-pass) and made 'shakes'. You can get about 6 with a fine cut blade x 8' long. You can be creative in lapping these for the roof, but work well for sides.

    I am also looking into making 'sandwich' panels with hardware cloth between a rectangle frame (probably 2x4) and then interconnect them with some type of quick release fastener. This would allow easy storage/easy modification (enlarge as the flock gets bigger), decrease the size of the tractor if you are doing small batches etc. The entire tractor would be made of this modular coop panel system. Hopefully, I will have a prototype of this design soon, and will probably post a google sketchup when I get a chance to draw.

    ANYONE else have some frugal designs to share for these meatie pens?
     
  2. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    About $100 to build this one...
    [​IMG]
     
  3. bnentrup

    bnentrup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2010
    Central Indiana
    Gotta say.. I do like your design in that it allows you to access the pen a bit easier than ones I have built. Are you using poly-wire in this unit? Have you had any predator issues?

    I think the next I will design though will be one that I do not need to enter the pen until the D-day. All watering/food external, and uses some type of funnel system to add the feed from outside (have seem some interesting pvc models that are novel if there is a way to fill 1-feeder and have enough space for multiple birds to eat at once.



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    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  4. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    Thank you!

    Nine dogs, three geese... no predator issues here [​IMG] LOL

    It is a poly type wire, I believe the package called it 'netting', but to me it's just 1" plastic hardware cloth. It's about 4' tall and not hard to get into, but I still have to hunch of course. Both my waterer and feeder are inside. Was thinking of attaching to it, but didn't want the extra weight as we will move this daily.

    And that $100 to build is in Alaska... probably less in the Lower 48.
     
  5. hensonly

    hensonly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    How big is your tractor?
     
  6. vatterpa

    vatterpa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2010
    Indiana, PA
    how many can you fit in there?
     
  7. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    Chickaloon, Alaska
    It's 4x8 and there are 16 in there now. I think that's pushing the limits even tho they don't move around much.
     
  8. Peruvian

    Peruvian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 15, 2008
    Vermont
    How frugal you talking? My hoop house tractor used 3 cattle panels, 2 8x10 tarps, some scrap 2x4s, some chicken wire, a bit of rope, 2' of old hose, and lawnmower wheels I got at the dump. Maybe $125 in total and I'm on year three. So far it cost about $1 per bird raised in it.
     
  9. bnentrup

    bnentrup Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2010
    Central Indiana
    Quote:well, I am specifically looking for concepts/ideas like the salvaged lawnmower wheels...if the entire structure can be salvage materials, it indeed would be an interesting rig indeed!
     
  10. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Here are a couple (not mine) from other threads that I like .....

    Quote:Quote:
     

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