This post is long and long overdue. I built a chicken tractor over the spring. What's a chicken tractor you ask? Well that depends on if you ask a green tractor chicken or a red tractor chicken...
Most people look at me funny when I say I have a chicken tractor. I think they imagine a dozen chickens tethered to a plow or something. A select few probably imagine an actual chicken driving a tractor. If you fall into the latter camp, I would love to know what you think a cock fight is. Leave a comment down below.
A chicken tractor is simply a chicken coop and run that can be moved. Most people build the tractor with the bottom open to the grass and move it every couple days. This allows the chickens to graze fresh pasture and bugs while being protected from predators.
- 3 - 4ft x 16ft cattle panels.
- 2 - Pressure treated 12ft 2x4's.
- 2 - Pressure treated 8ft 2x4's.
- A lot of untreated 2x4's. I seriously went back twice to get more. Maybe a dozen or so.
- 1 - 4ft x 8ft x 1/2 inch plywood.
- 3 - 4ft x 8ft x 1/4 inch plywood.
- 3 rolls of 25ft hardware cloth with 1/2 inch squares.
- 2 rolls of 25ft chicken wire.
- 3 - 2ft x 8ft galvanized steel corrugated metal roofing sheets.
- 1 Box of "U" Grip-Rite staples.
- 1 Box of self-tapping metal screws.
- 1 Box of neoprene washers for self-tapping screws.
- 1 Box of exterior screws.
- 8 - 6 inch lag bolts with washers and nuts.
- Metal cutting blade for circular saw.
- Spool of galvanized wire.
- Exterior paint.
- Ratchet straps
- Various power tools.
You will want some help bending the cattle panels. Once I had them in a "U", I used ratchet straps to hold it in place. I then attached the 8ft 2x4's to hold it together. Make sure you have the sides you stapled the cattle panels to, facing in. You don't want the panels pushing out against the staples on the outside.
I used two, 6 inch lag bolts on each corner. Notice I cut out a 1 1/2 inch section on the 8ft 2x4's , leaving a 1/2 inch on the top. This is so when you move the tractor, the front and back boards are not dragging on the ground. Make sure you do this to both sides on the front and back 8ft 2x4's.
Here is the frame all bolted together. At this point it was easy to move around on the sleds. If you didn't want a coop in your tractor, I think you could move this by hand pretty easily, even once all the hardware cloth and chicken wire is attached.