Tractors

chauqg

Songster
10 Years
Jun 13, 2009
131
2
101
Here are shots of our tractor 9' long x4' wide x3' high (size of standard wire); unit was made to fit over our garden beds. Made from 2x4's sawn in half; painted with barn paint before adding hardware wire covering the entire inside, then cut out the chicken door in front. The top is a heavy duty plastic canvas piece (very light) that folds in the middle when opening the top half of the tractor which is hinged. There is HD wire under the canvas to hold it up in the rain and for security. Do not use poultry wire it will keep chickens in, but will not keep predators out! The final tractor is covered with 1/2x1/2" hardware wire fencing.

Under the green canvas we had poles to raise and lower the feed and water as birds grew; the poles were hung just in front of the hinged top so they could both be reached from outside for refilling or cleaning. Later I moved the water to the rear as in this photo to allow maintenance from the same side; much quicker and easier from one side.

This tractor was perfect for 10 birds full grown; I had 26 in it until they were 4 months old and it was fine... then had to move them into permanent coop. Birds were free-range daily to keep the stress down, then went in and out of their little door in front(they get excited so the door is wide). The top of the tractor was hinged to open (4 1/2' x 4') to allow us to place the entire brooder into the tractor. That worked to harden of the birds to the fall weather and also to give them a secure place to sleep without draft while allowing them to roam in the tractor daily until we opened the door for their free range time... Some days they were only out for a couple of hours, others they were out all day. Birds forage, become very predator aware, and had a good time scratching and running around. We easily moved this tractor as needed. We are adding a skid (2x4 beveled) on the back side to allow it to slide easier than just sliding on the bottom rail of the tractor. We permanently mounted 4" U bolts to the outside corners of the tractor in the event we needed to move it with our tractor (just hook to the U bolts and pull away). Will work perfectly when one person has to move the coop a long distance. Any questions I have not answered just write.

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Hope this helps! GOOD LUCK....... Have fun!
 

hen-at-home

Songster
9 Years
Mar 11, 2010
100
0
116
North Central MA
Wish you'd gotten more responses to your request. I just spent my whole morning, a couple hours, searching through this forum, entering key search words for examples of chicken tractors! I don't have time to do this!
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I know there is a tractor photo page, but I didn't see exactly what I was looking for. I have to try and build it myself and I'm not a wiz with construction. (I'm sure if I get started and look helpless my hubby will rescue me, but currently I've got him finishing the coop.
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) I currently have my girls (8 regular size hens) in a child's play yard with two door screens placed on top and a plastic tub on it's side as a "hideout". (They're only 7wks old, so no nest box needed at the moment)

Could others please share plans for a fairly simple tractor that a woman with common sense, who's able bodied, though lacking in experience can manage??
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Thank you!!

Sharon
 

elmo

Crowing
11 Years
May 23, 2009
4,907
264
336
DFW
Here's a picture of my second tractor, an A frame design:

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There's a picture of my first model on my BYC page. I used an old trampoline frame as the structure.

However, I'm planning a third model, and I think this one is going to be the easiest to build of them all. I've ordered these hoops:

http://www.farmtek.com/farm/supplies/prod1;ft1_coldframes_hightunnels;pg104155.html

I'm going to attach the hoops to wooden baseboards and wrap the frame with hardware cloth. I'll be splicing the wire where needed with Loxit clips, and probably use Teks screws to attach the wire to the metal hoops. I'm hoping this will be lighter than my wood frame one, too.
 

hen-at-home

Songster
9 Years
Mar 11, 2010
100
0
116
North Central MA
elmo, I like that A frame. The A frame seems like it'll be the easiest for me to build. Do you have some kind of nest box in that? I also checked out the hoops you linked. That sounds like it might also work well. How many hoops did you order, just two? Your base will be 6ft wide, correct? I have 8 hens so I'd need it to be 25 - 40 sq. ft. which would mean I'd have to build it about 5 ft. long. I'm not sure what width hardware cloth comes in or if it varies, but maybe that should be what I consider also. Well, you've got my wheels turning now!
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Thanks for posting and keep me posted on the third design!
 

Chicken_Hubster

In the Brooder
9 Years
May 4, 2010
62
0
39
Dillsburg, PA
Here is my tractor. It houses 10 hens currently. It is 8'x4'. The only thing you cant see in the pictures are the wheels, I slide them on and off. Both the gable ends fold down for clean out. And both the long sides right below the roof are on hinges for easy egg collection throughout the day. I keep my ramp and feed and water on pulley systems so that it makes moving it easier.

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Hope these help, it was a lot of fun to build.
 

MANNA-PRO

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