I built a chicken tractor! I bet you are probably thinking: “What in the heck is chicken tractor?!”. So before your mind starts wandering to visions of a chicken-sized farm vehicle and our chickens driving it around the property going about hilarious adventures, a “chicken tractor” is really just a portable, floorless chicken coop. I decided to build a chicken tractor because we have a new batch of chicks that I’ve been keeping in a dog crate.
The crate gets pretty gross really quick with 10 (I sold six) rapidly growing chicks pooping, scratching, spilling their food and splashing around in their water, so I started looking up better solutions for keeping chicks. Initially I was going to add a brooder onto our chicken palace, but I came across a better idea while researching DIY brooder ideas: the chicken tractor! The chicken tractor is portable, so we can keep the chicks closer to the house and move them around the yard, so that they can forage and fertilize the land, all while staying safe from predators and the older grumpy hens.
I wanted to use our left over building scraps to build the chicken tractor, so I walked around the property and grabbed a random piece of T1-11 that was annoying me by rotting in the yard, and I happened upon the old temporary screen doors that we finally recently replaced with permanent doors. They ended up working perfectly!
I had Stefan cut a couple of 45 degree angles so that the two screen doors fit together a-frame style. I used the T1-11 to brace and cap off the ends and I made a little box at the end where the chickens can get a little shade or nest. I found a couple of old hinges and made a little trap door on the end for easy loading/unloading of chickens, food and water. I then stapled some left over chicken wire over the screens. Originally I was going to rip out the screens, but since we found out that our cat likes to reach though chicken wire, pull the chicks heads through and gnaw them off, I decided that keeping the screens in would probably not be a bad idea…
The chicken tractor isn’t exactly pretty, but I plan on painting it camouflage with the left over spray paint that we used to paint our trashcans recently. And the price was right! The total cost to build our chicken tractor was $0.00, and I got a bunch of scrap out of the yard while creating a useful addition to our finca. Chicken tractors can be used for chicks, or to quarantine/separate a sick chicken, contain chickens to a certain part of the yard, etc.
More pictures of our new DIY chicken tractor:
In other chicken-related news, we are getting tons of fresh eggs from the 5 older chickens and our Ameraucanas finally started laying green and blue eggs. Check em out!