California to Puerto Rico

I Built a Chicken Tractor!

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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.

Our newest baby chicks: 10 Ameraucanas and 6 Silver Laced Wyandottes:
New chicks arrived in the mail

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…

Our new chicken tractor:
Puerto Rico Chicken Tractor

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!

Delicious fresh eggs:
Blue and green ameraucana chicken eggs

Comments

12 thoughts on “I Built a Chicken Tractor!

  1. Cassie

    That’s awesome! I love it when we can use old scraps and put them to work again. I’ve seen some tractors that have handles on them that you can walk behind kind of like a lawn mower only instead of mowing, the tractor components scratch and peck and poop (de-thatch the lawn and fertilize-haha).

    Chickens are the best. Super productive, fun, silly and they make awesome food. I love our Americana’s green eggs too and can’t wait to get our chicken finca up and running in Rincon as well. T-minus 500 days or so and we’ll be there full-time!! Cassie- lifetransplanet.com

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  2. Summer

    Cassie – Yes, I agree..Chickens are awesome! One of our Ameraucanas also likes to sneak into the house, lay an egg and sneak out. It’s like Easter around here, all year long! We want to come check out your PR property…Invite us over next time you guys are in town! :)

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  3. katrina kruse

    I think even I could eat eggs if they came packaged in green shells! How about using skateboard wheels and a couple 2x2s or something to put the show on the road (with a broom handle to pull)? jaja

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  4. Cassie

    Most definitely! It’s still in “before” shape and we have lots to do to make it “after” beautiful like your place. But we gotta start somewhere. Plus it’s kind of fun. We’d love to hear what you think and some tips and pointers and contacts. We’ll probably be out on a visit this winter again, so we’ll give you a shout.

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  5. Summer

    Katrina – Do you not eat eggs? I didn’t really either until we started getting freshies. They are SO much better then store bought.

    Carol – The green/blue eggs tastes exactly the same as the brown/white. Just a fun novelty. It’s like Easter every day around here! 😉

    Cassie – I saw the pictures of your property and was thinking that you guys are in pretty much the same place we were 6 years ago. It will be a fun/interesting/annoying/rewarding/crazy journey! I look back at our before pictures and think now, “WTF were we thinking?!”. First time home owners with no building experience buying a shell of a house in a foreign land….haha…Thankfully everything worked out and we are STOKED!

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  6. loretta cassiano

    Summer,
    Beautiful job! I love how you put the old storm door to use in such an Eco-friendly way! We should all take a lesson from your good deed and learn that just raising our own chickens helps the earth in so many ways. We put in our 4th Veggie Garden this year and use it all summer & fall. Beats the $$ at The Market and its more rewarding. When I get to Rincon full time I too plan on a chicken coop! These little things help is so many ways and so many others should follow suite. Keep up the wonderful work and enjoy those Beautiful colored eggs. They seem to pretty to crack. :)

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  7. Beautiful SeeAsia

    Hola, peace and blessings everyone.

    My King and I moved here to Puerto Rico 6 months ago and finally getting settled three weeks ago after an tiresome and adventurous travel around the island since November. We’re right in Aguada, in a home and looking for ideas to get this place cranking. Glad I have come across your blog. Although we are not chicken nor meat eaters it is pretty cool to see what people are doing with their space. Admirable, I’ll keep this channel of yours in my favorites.

    Looking forward to meeting more natives. – Beautiful SeeAsia

    Reply

  8. Summer

    Beautiful SeeAsia – Bienvenidos de Puerto Rico! We raise our chickens for the benefit of the land and eggs. They’ve also become our pets as well and actually like being held. Pretty funny little creatures…

    Jose – Sorry, we sold all of the Ameraucanas that we had for sale. I’ll let you know next time we get a batch if you’d like :)

    Reply

  9. Liz

    Awesome idea! I can’t wait till I’m able to move to PR and raise my own chickens, fruits and veggies. My kids would love it.

    Reply

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