My Super Chicken Tractor...

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Davaroo, May 19, 2008.

  1. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    ...otherwise called the JA-17 Poultry Mobile. I got the plans off BYC several years ago and bulit one. It only took two sheets of plywood a bunch of 2 x 4's and wire cloth. I think I spent $100 on everything, at retail. With scrounging, you could shave some of this cost.

    Heres an outside pic:
    [​IMG]
    Tarp for a roof, lower section for chickens to run around in. The wheels are on swing arms that dismount, so I use mine in a semi-permanent way. I roll it somewhere, I leave it for a while and then move it again. The chicken yard is a large fenced area 40 x 40, so the coop just trundles around inside the fence.

    Another outside shot:
    [​IMG]
    In this one you can see the ramp going up to the nests and the front door. Best thing about this thing is it allows you to stand erect, and yet you can move it by yourself!

    Here's a peak inside the door
    [​IMG]

    Nest boxes at the very back with the roosts in front. I keep a small broom inside for cleaning up now and then - thats it to the right. The nest boxes are just plastic crates.

    Another look at the nests:
    [​IMG]
    I found that the birds were always getting up on top of the nests so I made the sloped "roof" you see lifted here. I can put stuff under that might be needed in the coop and the birds can't climb up on it.
    Under the roosts youll see dropping boards made from Coroplast. They are hinged and come out for easy cleaning.

    This chicken tractor is one of the best ideas Ive seen in a long time and I haven't used it fully. There are design features I didnt incorporate and it can also be a small greenhouse, dog house or whatever you want. You could build an entire fleet of them once you got it down pat and use them for all sorts of things!

    Here's the link that used to be on BYC, but has now been removed for some reason:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/coops/ben-removed.html
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 19, 2008
  2. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

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    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Love it!!! I need to build something like this for the extra roos that I don't have the heart to eat or for grow out or to keep breeds seperated.

    Thanks for posting this elderoo!


    Dawn
     
  3. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    This would be good for that. It was originally put together by the desigenr to fit into the "permaculture" way of gardening, believe it or not. At least that was what his daughter said.

    According to her there have been improvements to the design, too, and Im waiting for a response about that.

    If you have a nice large area to work in, and a few simple power tools, this thing could be put together quickly. You can cut all the pieces before lunch and have it together in a day. I built it solo with no special skills, my wife looking on from the sidelines. It goes together like a model airplane, all the pieces notched and interlocking, covered in what aricraft designers would call a "stressed skin" of fence wire cloth. These things are the key to its strength. It really is more than the sum of it's parts.

    I put two tarps on it for durability, one for summer and one for winter. I end up replacing one of them in a season and simply rotate them with a new one. When it gets cold in winter, I cover it with heavy plastic under the tarps, in essence making a greehouse out of it. The one you see in these pics is on it's 3rd year, if I recall correctly.

    The one weak spot of the design are the wheels, as they arent really suitable for rough terrain. But they fit into the "2 sheets of plywood" scheme, being cut out and fabricated from the scrap! Eventually, Ill get around to it. For now, they do the job well enough.
     

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