How to build a chicken tractor | Living the Country Life

How to build a chicken tractor

The perks of raising poultry go beyond meat and eggs. If you build a chicken tractor, you'll have mobile pest controllers and fertilizers.

Radio interview source: Rich McGinnis, Co-Owner, DIY Chicken Coops

We had a coop to put our chickens in at night, but let them free range around the barnyard during the day. We'd often lost birds to varmints, so enclosing them inside a chicken tractor would have kept them safer.
Chicken tractors are basically small coops without a floor. Some have wheels, some don't. The units are moved often so chickens always have access to fresh grass and bugs. And the birds leave natural fertilizer behind.

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Comments (9)

rei42728 wrote:
My coop was made on a big wagon. I can see a problem here with this coop. Chickens need a roost. Many things, foxes, coyotes, probably raccoons can dig under this fencing. Coyotes, which are becoming very populated in residentail areas, can tear almost any fencing with their teeth. They tore a bottom from a rabbitt hutch. Coops should be off the ground level. Mine is made of recycled siding of a camper. It is double walled and insulated. One door is the length of the coop end and 6" high so it can be opened and the coop washed out with a hose.
rohde5243 wrote:
A roost won't save your birds from a coyote, a few years ago I watched a coyote jump over a 6 foot dog eared fence to steal a friends toy poodle, and go back over that same fence with dog in it's mouth. Even though I shot the coyote with my .270 rifle, the poodle was in shock and died at vet office. We lived on the edge of a very small town, it was safe to use the rifle. Out here a rifle is a tool like a shovel, can't call a sheriff, we have two sheriff's that cover hundreds of square miles, no animal control. If you do call the sheriff, he will ask you to use good sense and take care of it yourself, because it would take him sometimes a couple of hours to get there. They may need gun control in the cities, not out here.
betsy+freese wrote:
Good, practical advice, thanks! -- Betsy
stevete wrote:
Can someone answer this, does it have to be spring when you do this because it is winter time right now and i want to get a baby chick but we have no where to put it so could i make a small one and keep it in the big hallway of the other side of my house in my house?ANSWER PLEASE ASAP!
janet.rybak wrote:
We have no acreage just a house in the city with 5 chickens in the backyard. We get the chicks from the feedstore and raise them in the house till they get to big and make to much of a mess. We use a rubermaid container with a lid while they are really small and just place the top on to let air in - do not seal the the lid! Then we put them in the bathtub until the cold is no longer an issue for them. I do put newspaper down in the tub, and then throw it away every couple of days and wash the tub out clean and repeat. We have the heat on in the house thats about it. We do take them outside each day to get some fresh air. I would suggest getting 2 chicks not just one. That way they have a friend or someone to hang out with and they can keep warm together when small. We love having our chickens and we bribe the neigbors to keep quite with fresh eggs! Oh make sure you get sexed chicks if you want eggs. Enjoy your chickens- Farm girl in Houston, Tx
CindyMMcClellan wrote:
Does anyone have advice for designing a chicken tractor that could be used on unevenly sloped land? I am concerned the uneven terrain could leave enough room for predators to sneak in or chickens to sneak out under the straight bottom edge of the chicken tractor.
rohde5243 wrote:
A round tractor comes to mind. I once used a four foot high stock panel, about 16 feet long, rolled it into a circle and wire tied the ends. Then wrapped the whole thing in chicken wire, put a stick in the center of the wheel for a roost. It's easy to roll around the yard or lay it on it's side when you want. The chickens can easily pick through the wire.
ginamarina2 wrote:
I have a question. If you are moving the chickens out of the coop and around the yard in the tractor, where do they lay their eggs? Mine lay eggs in their nest boxes in the coop throughout the day, so I would think having them away from their nest boxes would be a problem. ??
rohde5243 wrote:
hang a 5 gallon bucket from inside chicken tractor, with an 8 inch hole in the side and 2 inches from the bottom, with straw or shredded paper or sawdust for nesting. Sometimes my chickens won't share, so I hang a bucket at both ends.