Small Chicken Tractor

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Maggie13, May 8, 2016.

  1. Maggie13

    Maggie13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2016
    Knox, New York
    This is my first post and wanted to say "I love fresh eggs",and this site has supplied me so much information I wanted to thank the admins and all of the members for their help.

    I used to get my eggs from my neighbor who unfortunately recently moved. I could search around and find someone else to buy from but felt I was ready to add a small flock to our homestead. Her moving spurred me on to do so.

    First thing was to build a secure enclosure to house 3 hens .

    We live on mostly wooded acreage with LOTS of predators passing through.

    We knew a Tractor vs a Stationary coop was what we wanted but trying to decide on what to build took me me forever. After looking at hundreds of them on line we finally decided

    It is about 4FT Wide X 9Ft Long
    I am sorry I didn't document with as many pictures as I should of.



    We purchased treated lumber for the boards touching the ground and rough cut 2" X 10" and 1" X 10" pine for the rest of it. Our Sawmill guy also sells metal roofing He gave us a couple of cover sheets for the roof. Total $ 175.00

    [​IMG]

    The deck is made from left over roof sheathing from the Tractor Shed project.

    I sealed all edges and top and bottom surfaces with 2 coats of Marine spar. We made it in 3 sections so popping them out to replace them when necessary will be easier.
    I hope to find a remnant of linoleum to set on top of it to make it easier to clean.

    [​IMG]

    The basis bones of the tractor

    [​IMG]

    We stained the frame before we covered it with the vertical pine boards so all surfaces are sealed.

    The 15" Pneumatic Wide Profile Tires were on sale at Tractor supply for $19.99 per. We also picked up almost all the necessary hardware. Total $ 101.25


    [​IMG]

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    Other than the TIME my husband has in to building it ( and it is taking a good deal of time) the material cost is not too bad ( It could of been done for less but we are keeping all of our buildings with Batten Board siding )

    They are STILL going to be some expensive eggs but at least we will know what our chickens has eaten to make them.



    Applied the battens, made the small chicken pop door, run access door for me then took it all the hardware off and started to stain.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    Next we applied a second coat of stain, added the trim color on the run door, corner and rake boards then reinstalled all the doors.

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    We used Fender Washers to install the screening.

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    Installed an outlet.

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    A few braces for the hooks to hold the water vessel and feeder

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    We spent a few days designing the Roost area:

    I decided to try a "Poop Hammock" since I had everything I would need already here.
    I figure at the very least it will keep the wall clean.

    To show you how we put it together

    The roosting bar is easily removed but secure while in place

    [​IMG]

    The other end of the roosting bar is slotted to sit firmly on a couple of pins.

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    It may be hard to see but we ground the points off of a couple of Long Sheetrock screws for the pins.
    We used some open ended closet rod cups to secure the dowels for the "hammock..

    [​IMG]

    Next I sewed a 2 1/2" loop at each end of a piece of 36" wide Landscape fabric for the dowels to slide into.

    [​IMG]


    I have about a 9" sag in the fabric

    This is what it looks like assembled. . Also cut a vent in the floor to aid in air exchange.

    [​IMG]


    Installed the Linoleum I bought a 3 ft X 8 ft piece for $10 and I have enough to replace it if necessary.

    [​IMG]

    Pine shavings added. I will feed them inside the coop.Water will be in the run

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    Here is the completed Tractor:

    [​IMG]
    Since taking this picture we have trimmed 4 inches of the upright supports that touch the ground in front of the angled board because we were afraid it might catch when rolling it on uneven ground.
    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  2. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 18, 2016
    Valley of the Sun :)
    pretty cool!

    my coop/run is also movable but only with a hand truck

    your design is pretty cool! thump up!
     
  3. Maggie13

    Maggie13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2016
    Knox, New York
    Thanks!
    .It is perfectly balanced making it easy for me to move it by myself.

    How often do you move your tractor?
    I am doing it every 4 days/
     
  4. Eggsoteric

    Eggsoteric Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 25, 2010
    Maryland
    Beautiful job! Love the pins idea.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Very Nice!!

    Couple questions....
    Is it an optical illusion or are the nest floors slanted?
    You might want to put taller fronts on the nests to keep straw and eggs from falling/being scratched out.
    Also, a removable board at clean out door to keep bedding from falling out when door is opened.

    Floor vent is covered with bedding?
    The window is great for light, but you need more ventilation.

    Killer Wheels!
    Would love to see some close pics and a pic in the wheels up position.
     
  6. Maggie13

    Maggie13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2016
    Knox, New York
    That is an optical illusion. The nesting boxes are flat.

    Yes the floor vent was covered with the pine litter in that photo because I had just added it and quickly snap the photo.
    It is not that thick now and I tapered the litter in that area to keep the vent so it is always open and working.

    When closed up for the night I have 42 sq inches of venting for 3 birds plus whatever leaks in.
    How much do you recommend?

    I will take some photos maybe I can shoot a video of the wheels working.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    A video would be great!!
    But just pics would do too.

    Not so much the amount of vents, but where they are.
    The floor vent should supply adequate intake of fresh air, but you need a high vent too(as high as possible) to exhaust moist ammonia laden air.
    Just as, if not more, important in winter as in summer in your climate.
    Sometimes you have to play it by eye and ear and adjust for the time of year, site location, and prevailing winds.
    Luckily with yours being portable you may be able to locate it in a protected area when needed.

    What are your plans for winter?
     
  8. Maggie13

    Maggie13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 4, 2016
    Knox, New York
    The ribs of the roofing are open 1 sq in each .
    I thought those would be enough allow for air exchange. There are 10. You can see them here

    [​IMG]



    For the winter the north side of the coop will be next to our tractor shed so I have access to power.
    I plan on using greenhouse plastic on the south side( The side with the door to the run area).I will fit the plastic to the run door be able to access the area
    Plywood on the west end under the nesting boxes
    And the east wall will be open if that doesn't work I will add plastic there also The short end. Or at least when I was designing it that is what I thought I should do.


    What do you suggest?
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    36,793
    10,577
    686
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Are those corrugated gaps protected by hardware cloth?
    I may be a bit paranoid, but any opening over 3/4" get covered with 1/2" HC.
    It might be enough ventilation, but more would be better.

    I would suggest long, narrow (width of coop and maybe 3-4" high) closable 'door' at the very top of highest wall, hinged at the top to help keep precipitation out, and covered inside with HC.

    Winter plan sounds good, hopefully you won't have to shovel much snow to keep things clear and accessible.
    Leave some open space at top of run, again for ventilation.
    Power for heated waterer?
    Not a good idea to heat coop itself.
     
  10. Shemos

    Shemos Just Hatched

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    May 28, 2016
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    OMG Maggie, we are tractor sisters!! [​IMG]
    We do wrap ours in plastic in the winter to keep the girls sheltered from the wind and snow.
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016

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