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Rabbit Hutch converted to a chicken tractor (pics)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GardeNerd, Mar 19, 2009.

  1. GardeNerd

    GardeNerd Chillin' With My Peeps

    I still haven't quite finished my coop, but I did manage to finish my tractor a couple weeks ago. We were ready to move the 4 to 6 week old chicks out of the house due to all the dust, but the wire dog crate wasn't ideal for warmth in the garage. The chicken tractor was originally a beat up old rabbit hutch I got for free off of craigslist. I add the lower wired frames, and added 2X2s around the bottom for stability. I put on tires from an old discarded BBQ that are removable. I replaced the hardware cloth on the floor of the second level to accommodate the opening for the ladder. My 8 year old made the ladder/ ramp out of scrap from the coop project and large craft/ popsicle sticks. Then we primed and painted it a pretty shade of blue exterior paint from Habitat for Humanity Restore in Garden Grove @$3.00 a gallon. It currently has a brooder lamp attached to it because it goes back into the garage each night for the chicks to stay warm since the outside temps at night here are still in the upper 40s. When the hens are full size, I figure it will hold two at a time, or it will be an isolation area when needed.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/20741_100_1866.jpg
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/20741_100_1874.jpg
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/20741_100_1897.jpg

    Here is how far I am on the coop:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/20741_100_1763.jpg
    My total cost were about $10.00 turn it from bunny rabbit hutch to chicken tractor/ temporary coop. The only supplies that were purchased were paint and hardware and hardware cloth (but it is being used and calculated in the coop project.)

    The weather has been pleasant lately here in SoCal. It was in the low 80's yesterday and the chicks loved being out in the warm sun. They all roost on the broom handle perch in the evening when the tractor goes back into the garage.

    I edited because I didn't manage to add the pics before hitting the return key. Oops.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  2. Suburban chick farmer 09

    Suburban chick farmer 09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 21, 2009
    St. Louis MO
    Nice job. I'm sure it will look great in your yard.
     
  3. Zahboo

    Zahboo Simply Stated

    Feb 3, 2009
    Hope Mills, NC
    It loks awesome. Good job
     
  4. Cetawin

    Cetawin Chicken Beader

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    Mar 20, 2008
    NW Kentucky
    Nice conversion! [​IMG]
     
  5. digginchicks

    digginchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2009
    Sullivan, Indiana
    I made a rooster pen with my old rabit hutch [​IMG]
     
  6. laurenlulu

    laurenlulu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 5, 2009
    That looks awesome! I've got a slightly bigger, way more beat up rabbit hutch that I got for free, I'd love to do something like that with it. The bbq wheels are ingenious!
     
  7. GardeNerd

    GardeNerd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the kind words.

    Not counting the painting, the conversion took only about 2 1/2 hours, and I work pretty slow. A more experienced person could probably do it in half the time. The painting took two other half days, just when I found time. The hardest part with the painting was painting around the existing hardware cloth on the hutch. It was messy and difficult to get into the small spaces and still have it look nice. It may have been faster to have removed all the hardware cloth, paint the hutch, and then put it back on. It has a door on the bottom off on one side. I would recommend putting it on the front instead since it is wider and a shorter reach. When the chicks don't want to come out they stay out of arms' reach on the opposite end right now. I have been in half way in a couple of times to get them. The chicks think it is hilarious [​IMG] Lessons learned for the next one.
     
  8. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    TSC is selling a "chicken coop" almost identical to that for $99. I saw it there yesterday.
    Great way to recycle material!!

    I love the color too!

    Laurie
     
  9. GardeNerd

    GardeNerd Chillin' With My Peeps

    We don't have Tractor Supply Co. around here. The closest looking thing I have seen around SoCal like it is about $300, and it is the standard redwood stain color. I like bright stuff, so I would have painted a new one, too.

    I am recycling and building all my stuff for the chickens as frugally and as green as possible.
     
  10. equus2

    equus2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dang, I have a rabbit hutch just like that. I know what I'm doing this weekend!! Love the colors! And the creativity!!

    [​IMG]
     

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