Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Chicken Tractor number 2

The twenty chicks we bought are growing quick.  They about five time the size they were when we brought them home from the feed store.  If I don't get the split up soon they will be pecking each other to death.  The last time we bought chickens the dominickers and road island reds tore the other kind to shreds even though they had plenty of room.  This is the second chicken tractor and I will probably build one more after this.  This time I went shorter and wider with a door in the middle of the back.  This took a couple hours this afternoon and I should have it finished tomorrow.
You don't really need much to build a chicken tractor.  Any saw will do,  a hammer comes in handy, and the most helpful thing would be to have two five foot pipe clamps which is about forty bucks including two fittings and two lengths of pipe.  Most people would reach for the cordless Makita or DeWalt, but being as cheap as I am when it come to buying junk I use this 1950's Porter-Cable Homemaster drill that I bought at a flea market for ten bucks.  I put the whole thing together with 3" screws, but If I had one I would use a finish nailer with 2 1/2" 16 gauge finish nails and it would take half the time.

My list of materials:

10     8' 2x2's  Get the straightest ones you can even if you have to make the guy get down a fresh bundle
         to pick through.
1       4' x 8' sheet of 1/4" plywood
2       26" x 8' sheets of corugated plastic (we were going to use salvaged tin, but didn't want sharp edges)
1       Box of 3" screws used about 1/2 box per chicken tractor.
6       1" lag eyes to use as hooks for bungee cords to hold top on.
1       Roll of poultry netting or chicken wire ( you could make a bunch  of these from the same roll since
         really only need about 15 feet) 

I have looked through plans for chicken coops and chicken tractors online and this is my attempt at making this as cheap and simple as possible.  The chickens seem to like it so far, but then again they like eating bugs so what do they know.

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