Sunday, January 21, 2007

New Chicken Tractor - Step 1

My 4 hens have a little coop that I built about three years ago. It was one of the first things I ever built. It's OK but when I move it into the garage during winter. I feel the need to fashion a little pen around it for snowy days when the chickens can't go outside because the coop is only 4x4. The coop is fine in the garage, but the pen just takes up too much room. I also want something that I can move myself. I've decided to build them a tractor like I read about here. It will have twice the space as my coop and I will be able to move it around by myself. I've built some chicken tractors before. The first ones I build for broilers are all scrapped now. They were just too small for broilers and were rather flimsy too. I think broilers work better in a day-range system. The next tractor was a hoop style shown first in this post I helped my friend Judy build the next year. It is a nice one, and we day ranged two batches of broilers or 175 chickens in all that year with it at her place. It's also good to use to start seeds in the spring by covering it with plastic but that design is way way too big for my tiny back yard. Then last summer I helped put some very final touches on the mobile coop in the second photo in the post. It's quite a fancy coop. The first time I saw it, I thought it that I would like to have it for a summer house for myself. I could just hook it on the back of my car, and tow it to the country. :)

So what you see in the photo, other than my messy workshop, is the top and bottom frame for the new chicken tractor. Those pieces will fit out the cellar door so I was lucky to be able to build them inside on this cold windy day. The pieces measure 4x8 and used 13 2x4s and some deck screws. I still need to go get most of the materials so sadly I probably won't get to work on it again until next weekend.

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