Chicken Equipment

So to make the chicken tractor I looked at several already out there and then we made a few modifications to suit our individual needs.  We mostly followed THIS ONE.  However, we just used two cattle panels as we were only planning for 50 birds. I believe the two cattle panels we used were 16 feet long. 

 First, we laid out the two cattle panels side by side and zip tied them together.  Next we stapled them { hammer in electrical type staples) to the 2 x 6' pieces of lumber which we had already altered the ends for skid purposes, taking care to visualize how the feet would look when we pulled them together.  Then we pulled them together with the staples on the inside of the tractor and screwed on the two 8 foot 2 x 4s.  Then we added the corner braces, then the back A shaped brace and the door frame.Then we built the door to fit the door opening minus 1/4" on all sides.  We used typical gate hardware.  We put hardware cloth on the front and door.  We then took a tarp that we already had and folded it three times to fit on the roof.  We fastened it at the bottom using a long piece of trim and screws.  Whenever we were in doubt, we added another zip tie.  


When we put the chicks in the tractor, we used a brooder that we built with THESE DIRECTIONS.  It worked great and used less electricity that the standard heat lamp.



Finally, when we decided to keep some of the chickens to work on our pasture instead of processing them, we added a roosting post and two nesting boxes that move with the chicken tractor.




Egg Mobile




I liked several parts of each of these egg-mobiles from youtube: The hinged roof: The Wheel structure: I saw another one with chicken wire under the roosting poles, but can't find it at the moment.   The south wall is going to be clear corrugated roofing to let in light and sun, the roof will be hinged, and it will have swing under wheels. The framing was done with some rough cut oak given to us by a friend that we ripped to 3 1/2 inches. It was so solid, we ended up using a finish nailer to put it together. I'll post a picture of the finished project soon!  Well, not finished yet, but it has a roof that opens with a hinge to air it out during the day in the summer!
Updated picture, but still have wheel structure to engineer:


Equipment:

Waterer:
5 mini cups from Cornerstone Farm ($12.52 with shipping)
5 gallon bucket from Tractor Supply ($2.99)
Lid ($1.99 - $5.31 including tax for bucket and lid
teflon tape (already had)

Total Cost:  $17.83

I measured and marked up 3 inches from the bottom of the bucket, about 6 1/2 inches apart to seat six cups.  I looked at several youtube videos to figure out what I wanted to do, but got most of my information from this website.  I decided to drill a small hole near the top of the bucket instead of leaving the lid ajar to aid the water flow.

Housing:

After internet research, I decided on this plan due to cost and ease of construction.  My other consideration was that I was advised by Perry-winkle Farm that the Salatin type of chicken tractor would be too hot in our area for the chickens (Thanks Cathy!)  Cathy's husband Mike makes an awesome chicken tractor using a carport canopy, but at this time, the cost seems a bit high.  (It must have gotten popular.)

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