Homemade Chicken Tractor

A friend of ours delivered this chicken tractor today. It’s part of our mini co-op to raise these 8 little nuggets as a continuing experiment in homesteading and self-sufficiency.

The idea is that you move the chicken tractor to a new spot every 2-3 days so that they don’t completely destroy the land underneath them. If you leave them in place, they’ll eat every blade of grass and leave themselves with little more than a muddy pit. For instance, our 3 hens started out with a chicken run that looked like this:

Pullets are the awkward teenagers of chickens
Here they are as pullets a little over a year ago!

But they soon devoured their salad bar and turned it into a patch of dirt:

All grown up!

With that in mind, the tractor was built with more lightweight materials and included a rope to pull the whole contraption.

Such innovation!

Half of it is covered with a tarp to provide protection from the elements and I was able to hang their water from some of the conduit. Hopefully having it raised off the ground will keep it a little cleaner!

It uses the plastic conduit as ribs and has chicken wire stretched and stapled over that to provide protection from local predators (raccoons, possums, local cats/dogs, Bear Grylls, etc.).

The only thing I’m a little worried about is animals digging under the sides at night. I’ve seen evidence of that with our other chicken coop, but I flared out about a foot of chicken wire at the bottom of that one to make sure they couldn’t get in. I might need to do that to this one as well.

This is plenty of space for 8 meat birds. At approximately 30 square feet, that’s more than double what they actually need to stay relaxed.

And as an after-thought, I think I might be able to re-tool this slightly in the winter to make a hoop house and grow some lettuce or spinach while the snow falls…

5 thoughts on “Homemade Chicken Tractor”

  1. Fascinating! Glad you created a blog!

    And who knew you’d grow up to be a homesteader?! πŸ™‚

    Love the banner picture!

    Why called a tractor?

    1. Typically they have wheels, which makes them more tractor-like. We opted for no wheels since it’s smaller than most.
      …and we’re stronger than most πŸ™‚

    1. We can, but these chickens will be done growing before the end of October. We could do some winter ones, but then we’d be relying on store-bought feed instead of greenery and bugs and the like. It would be a bit less efficient.

      Plus, don’t you think it would be fun to see us trying to garden in the snow??

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