I know- yet another chicken update! I promise just two more, and then back to talking about seeds and growing!

Today I wanted to expand on the chicken tractor that my handyman built more or less from 2 or 3 designs we saw on backyardchickens.com, and then built it to suit our needs.

The basic idea was to hold about 5-6 chickens, be long and narrow, and be able to take it up and down the rows of a garden or 3 or so feet. We also had a person in mind, Paul Holland, one of our Grow Participants who has 16 people in his family to feed. He already had 4 chickens, so the extra ones would help immensely- and since his garden is on the side of a hill, space was at a premium. Having a mobile tractor was a must!

The basic design we took from had a huge hen house on the back, with a long, wide base for the chicken run. This isnt the one that inspired us, but it is very close to it. As you can see- very space intrusive.


So as seen before, below is the product of out work. We wanted the egg access to be easy, that is why we put the access door where the handles to move the tractor is. The door also rests on the handles, so you can lay your egg bucket on it while you retrieve eggs. The whole thing is probably 7 feet long handles and all, but really easy to move.

On my garden, the idea of putting the wheels on the inside of the boards was ingenious- it saved space and still was easy to use. When we got it to the rougher terrain of Paul’s house though, one of the boards cracked while we were moving it. Paul said was easily fixable, but had the wheels been on the outside it would have been better at his place.

The main access door to put in feeders, waters, or to remove or add chickens was on the front with a strong hasp. I have found that as long as you put down a feeder, the chickens are easy to catch! Otherwise, you just stand there looking like an idiot. We also put a roost in the middle away from the feeders to add more room.

On the bottom we used much wider wire than the standard chicken wire for the sides. On the ark where we put chicken wire on the bottom we found that the “poo” “stobs” (my word for sticking? filling?) the holes up. The wider wire like we used to string beans on is still wide enough for the chickens to get a dirt bath, to stand on, and not be able to get loose or big enough for predators to get in- so lesson learned!

Almost all of this coop was salvage in one way or another- even the nice new tin that was left over from our building. The main cost was, as always, the wire and the hardware. I keep going back to this, but if you are going to use wire for bean or other netting, this may save you money on the long run if you want to build a chicken coop to buy extra!

I have not talked to Paul since the chickens were big enough to give to him along with his Coop. With Eddie gone on National Guard Duty, I have been swamped! But my plan is to visit everyone this Friday so I hope to have an update then!






The long tractor that can fit in between garden rows.

The long tractor that can fit in between garden rows.