chicken keeping · Homesteading

Chicken Tractors- 2nd try…

Hubby just completed his designing and creating of our 2nd try at chicken tractors. Our first design didn’t work out as well, sadly. It was too tall, heavy and bulky for moving. Also, it didn’t move well. And it had gaps which allowed for predators to get at the chicks.

This is then our second try. After looking at several designs on Pinterest and Google, we decided this one would be our best option. Hubby figured out measurements and design. Then he and the boys built it.

He figured that a 5ft by 10ft frame would work best for the amount of chicks we will have. We have, currently, 50 chicks. When we move them, we will put 25 in each tractor to give them enough space.

He then added a “wall” around the lower foot or so of the tractor to which he attached the PVC pipes. These created the hoop portion of the tractor- the ceiling. He put doors on both ends to add to the use ability of the tractors. Later on, if we decide to, we can add a wire floor to one end and use that to put the feed bin and water tanks on.

For now, the plan is to hang them from the 2×4 that runs the length of the roof to help give the PVC structure. This connects to the frames for the doors. On top of the PVC hoops, we covered them with chicken wire, only to help hold the tarp roof. Chicken wire does not last like it used to so we only use it to help create structure.

They zip-tied the chicken wire and the tarp to the hoops. I see now that the zip ties have caused holes in the tarp already so we will have to make improvements there. The winds we have had have been a good test for our design. We see what we need to do better.

When we put the chicks in, we will attach chain to the 2×4 roof beam to hang the water and feed tanks on. This will keep them off the ground because the plan is to move the tractors daily. I may let them free- range some, but we will see how these work. They may just stay in the tractors and we move them daily.

Something we will experiment with.

I would like to also have a guard on the ground portion of the tractor, on the outside, to deter that fox. Last year, it was able to get under the tractor and cause too much damage. A little traumatizing for all of us.

The other thing I would like to add, is some sticks or boards across the center just for perches. We will have to see how much room we have after we hang the feed and water.

Now we just have to wait for them to grow a little more!!

Next to arrive should be some guinea fowl. They eat TONS of ticks and after this past year of dealing with tick diseases, we want to encourage tick eaters!! The end of this month then the turkeys will arrive. I have been reading about them and I am excited!

The plan is to sell some of this batch of broilers, so if you want some, please comment. Current market prices that I have seen for home raised broilers is about $2.50 lb. I am not sure how much these will weigh at the end. My guess is about 4-6lbs.

We will also be selling some of the turkeys come September or so. These are a heritage breed called, “Bourbon Reds”. My plan is to keep some for breeding and have my own flock. I am not entirely sure on sizes or prices for them. That I will have to look into. I am guessing more like $4 lb.

I will write more about all of that on another day. For now, just let those thoughts simmer in your brain and do a little of your own research.

Blessings!

Vicki

Here are some affiliate links that I could get a little income from if you click the link or choose to purchase from my recommendation. Your choice really.
This is the feed bin I currently use for my layer hens. I love it because it has held up amazingly well!!

Next link is for this book that is on my want list. Lots of books are on my want list, I know. But this one is all I need to know and I have read some great revies on this book!!

My last affiliate link for this post is the electric chicken netting I am hoping to purchase this year. I really don’t want the fox getting my chicks again this year. Thanks for clicking if you choose to!!

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