Need some chicken tractor ideas!

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Chicky Joy, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I need some ideas on how to make a chicken tractor to hold say 20 chickens. My goal is to make something that is easy enough to do that I can make it by myself, keeping in mind that I'm not allowed to use the hubby's power tools.

    We have one small chicken tractor that I started building last year but hubby had to finish. We have 26 chicks that are two weeks old so we will be needing another tractor to hold the excess birdies.
     
  2. djmooney

    djmooney Chillin' With My Peeps

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    its going to be tough to build anything decent without power tool.
     
  3. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, that's why he had to finish the last one. I should have put power tools on my christmas list but since they wouldn't be here in time I didn't bother. The only problem is he always takes over, or tries to, and all my good ideas go out the window. Story of my life but oh well.

    I suppose if there were something that required only a few minor things to be done with a powertool then I could make that work.
     
  4. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where are you? If you're in the frozen north you'll need something pretty sturdy to stand up to snow and mud.

    If you're in Florida or Arizona you can build a shed type tractor with cattle panels, (see the latest thread in todays coop section) chicken wire, cable clamps and zip ties.

    Or you could bribe the hubby. . . . [​IMG]
     
  5. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Northern Michigan, and they'll need to be in the tractor for most of the winter. On the plus side it's an island so we have limited predators. If I can get it to hold up to the snow that would be most of the battle.
     
  6. Stumpy

    Stumpy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you thought about renting some power tools? If you had all of your materials and a good plan in place, you could probably get by with renting for one day.
     
  7. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have limited predators could you let them range during the day? Because then you wouldn't need nearly the space inside the coop - just room to roost comfortably.

    Or you could make two or three small tractors that you could handle yourself.

    Stumpy has a point - a good plan would be the best thing to keep you on track to get done quickly. Look at the tractor designs here on BYC.

    And minimize your cutting chores. Make everything even numbers, like 4x8, which is the size of a piece of plywood.

    If you can't use stock panel (you may have noticed I'm hooked on stock panel!) There's pvc pipe, which can be glued together with corners and everything for a good run frame.

    Another idea might be straw bales, pallets, and tarp or plywood for cover. Straw bales are pretty draft proof.

    I know this is really just a flight of ideas, but maybe there's something you can pull out of it! Good luck!
     
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Good heavens, you don't need power tools to make a chicken tractor. (Although a cordless drill, to use as a screwdriver, is a big labor saver... but maybe your husband does not consider that in the same category as other power tools)

    Get you a $15 handsaw from Home Depot or wherever -- my current utility saw is a Stanley FatMax [e.g. http://www.sears.ca/product/stanley-fat-max-bladearmor-coated-hand-saw/A0003250450990700S], but anything like that is fine, you want something short with a small number of large teeth, like maybe 9-10 teeth per inch, it will say on the label. This will cut any wood you want it to, Real Fast and Easy. It will even do a respectable job of cutting plywood, especially if you are making shortish cuts (longer ones, have Home Depot or wherever you buy your plywood do them FOR you -- usually first 2 cuts are free and then it's like a buck a cut, or so).

    So, pick whatever tractor design seems most useful and buildable to you, but DO NOT WORRY about the tools thing.

    Good luck, ahve fun,

    Pat, who owns a lot of power tools but does not bother to drag them out and set them up and find earplugs and such for just a small job, and thus probably does over 50% of her work with hand tools, sometimes including a hand drill and regular ol' screwdrivers.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2009
  9. Megs

    Megs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    depending what supply store you buy materials from you may be able to get them to cut the materials. If i go to Rona they have an excellent cut shop which costs a little bit but cuts down on the work a lot!! Home Depot only has a wall cut shop and is very limited in what they can do.

    do a search on here there are looots of good tractor ideas, mostly for a smaller ammount of birds though (4-8)

    heres ones i bookmarked
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=270036
     
  10. Chicky Joy

    Chicky Joy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Good pointers. I have considered the straw bale idea. The only concern I have is whether or not the straw would be a decent barrier against moisture. I was also wondering if the straw would be any good after sitting outside for that long. We also might keep the chicks in the garage for a short while once they can go without the heat lamp. In that case we would probably use straw bales to contain them in a certain area.

    In terms of pvc I think that sounds like something I could possibly do for the run. I'm trying to remember what we have on hand. I do believe there is some hardware cloth, some plywood that I may or may not be allowed to use, some lattice (maybe this could be used if covered in hardware cloth) and all sorts of lumber that someone gave us. I'm not sure what I'll do yet, hopefully something will come to mind.
     

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