My tractor now working out :(

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hcammack, Jun 8, 2008.

  1. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    I made my chicken tractor system so complicated that my mom, dad, brother, and chicken babysitter can't move it when I am away [​IMG] I love the idea of the hens getting fresh pasture but it has become to complicated. I have 11 hens more that can fit in my tractor they only use it for nights and laying. This system seems to keep them content but I need to make a self contained coop and run. I think I am going to make a two sided run with two pop doors so that their will be time for the grass to rest. I am not a great builder so I was thinking about getting a shed and converting it this month before I go away. The hens will also get allot of free range so I think they won't lose to much nutrition. I will use the DL method in the coop. How big a coop would I need for twelve or thirteen standard hens and a rooster? any Ideas for how to get or make a cheep coop? I could make a visit to the amish and have them build me one I don't think that would be to expansive. I also would love to get this done before I go away for July :mad: I don't want to leave :mad: I hope this turns out ok I could keep using the tractor but it may get cold in winter and with the fencing the hens are always escaping and getting out.

    Thanks,
    Henry
     
  2. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh and also the coop has to be cool in summer and fairly warm in winter for our climate. It would be ok for me to build something as long as its not two complicated! I don't even own a saw ! [​IMG] I would love to get one for under $300 dollars I will also probably get a rooster so I can sell hatching eggs from my true Ameraucana's.

    Henry
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Aw c'mon, build it yourself, Henry [​IMG] Mister Future Farmer is going to have to learn to learn to cut wood and stick pieces of it together SOMEtime, and no time like the present, right? [​IMG] Buy a saw and a cordless drill. You will not regret 'em.

    For 12 chickens I would personally say you'd want something like 6x12 or 8x8, but you could go a bit smaller, especially if you build lots of run space. You'd want a run of at least 80-120 sq feet (that would be, like, 8x10 to 8x16), or larger if the coop is on the small side.

    You are probably NOT going to do this entire thing in 3 wks for $300 though, not in a durable and predator-resistant way, sorry. Unless you are extremely lucky in finding just the right materials free at just the right time. Three weeks is doable if you ahve time to spend, it's the budget that may have to bend.

    It is not difficult to build a simple coop with a shed roof (a single slope from one side to the other, i.e. no ridge). For an 8x8 structure you would need something like (i.e. this is not an exact shopping list, just gives you a way of estimating materials costs):

    4 sheets of 1/2" plywood, 8 sheets of 3/8" plywood (you want the plain, exterior-grade stuff, not fancy finished grades); 8-9 8' 2x6's (I'd use pressure treated) for floor joists; 12 12' 2x4's for wall studs and sills; 5 2x6's for rafters; some asphalt roll roofing or the corrugated plastic stuff; and some cinderblocks to rest the corners of the structure on. Plus assorted other bits and bobs.

    For a, let's say, 8x16' run, you will need something like: 6-10 8' pressure-treated 4x4's; 40' of 5' tall 2x4 welded wire mesh; 80' of 2' tall 1" chickenwire; plus misc hardware and whatever you want to top the run with (if door to run will be left open at night, I highly recommend 2x4 welded wire on a strong frame). Alternatively, you could buy (preferably secondhand) some chainlink dog-run panels and make the run that way -- whyich would certainly be easier. You'd still need to attach a digproofing apron and whatever kind of top you need.

    YOU CAN DO THIS. And if you don't start learning to make things now, whatcha gonna do when you go apprentice yourself somewhere to learn sustainable farming and are told to go knock a chicken tractor together or fix a fence? Best to learn on your own time [​IMG]

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
  4. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    Thank you so much I think I am going to try it why the heck not I will have allot more fun doing this then just spending $ and not doing anything and you right I need to start learning now ! I will try and convin my parents I also told them I would never be able to break even unless I could sell hatching eggs [​IMG] so I think I am getting a rooster at the end of the summer [​IMG]

    Henry
     
  5. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    MY Mom just said no I am ticked off at her right now she is the one making me change up my setup I agree it needs to change. She said I needed a mentor to build stuff like this ? what do you guys think?
     
  6. countryboy

    countryboy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 31, 2007
    I think you already have a mentor. look at post #3. you could even have a thread just on building it, similar to Okies incubator adventure by PC.

    edited for spelling [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2008
  7. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    I will convince her for some reason she does not think I am smart enough or something I can certainly learn quickly. I know how to drill, saw, nail, and screw. I think I can figure this out with your guys help I am printing this post now. [​IMG] I am also not in a very good mood right now its 95 degrees out and my head hurts its gross here!

    Thanks,
    Henry
     
  8. Jacky'sMamma

    Jacky'sMamma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't get discouraged... prove to her you can do it with the help of us here. As for the power tools... is there someone close by that you can borrow them? If not they can be affordable at walmart and such.

    GO FOR IT! in the immortal words of Rob Schneider..."YOU CAN DO IT!"
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    You don't need a mentor, just a set of plans and a HANDsaw (i.e. not a power saw unless there is someone who can teach and supervise you). (If you need to cut sheets of plywood, get your dad or a neighbor to help, as it's a real nuisance to have to do major plywood cuts without a power saw -- but intelligent design can avoid most of that).

    Here is a thought, Henry -- what if you built just a permanent run, and left the tractor in it (in 1 place) while you are away. That will be easier, faster and cheaper, and is the easier constrution project of the two (coop vs run). It will solve your problems for now. It will ease you into the whole building-things business. And it may convince your mother that you're ready to try building a proper coop.

    ?


    Pat
     
  10. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    LOL jacks mom I just told her pat from BYC made me a list of materials. She said you can do it we will get the materials and make a plan and then my godfather or family friend or neighbor can come help me for a day because my dad and mom are not handy at all.

    Thank you guys I will be posting allot of questions [​IMG]

    Henry
     

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