How to build a chicken tractor
1. Before building your chicken tractor, Draw up a Design of how you envision the structure; you can look online to aid you in doing so.
* We chose a triangular design after browsing through images because it seemed to offer the most structural support as well as being relatively simple.
2 . Make measurements, Cut Pieces, and Build Frame
* The wood that we had to work with was limited, and for that reason the measurements that we used were relative to the cuts of wood that we had.
Quantity Size Cut Purpose
3 2″x4″x7′ Both flat (90o) Corners of Triangle
3 1″x1″x4.5″ Both ends at 45o angles outward Downward Supports
6 1″X1″x42″ Both ends at 45o angles outward Top Supports
3 1″x1″x20″ Both ends at 45o angles outward Middle Supports
2 1″x1″x40″ Both ends at 45o angles outward Bottom Supports
4 1″x1″x3’5.5″ Both flat (90o) Lenghtwise Supports
2 1″x1″x40″ Both flat (90o) Very Bottom Supports
* We found it easier to attatch the 1″x1″x4.5″ pieces to the 2″x4″x7′ that was to be the top of our chicken tractor using 1.5″ screws. We placed one flush with each end and one in the very middle. We then attatched all six 1″X1″x42″ on either side of the 1″x1″x4.5″ supports. Before attatching the 1″x1″x20″ supports we screwed on the two 1″x1″x40″ bottom supports; this just makes it easier to put the middle supports on.
* Perpendicular to the 1″x1″x4.5″ downward supports we attatched 1″x1″x3’5.5″ lengthwise supports. We placed these in a fashion that was flush with the 1″x1″x20″ middle supports. It is to these pieces that we later staled the shade cloth to.
4. Attatch Wheels and Handles
* The wheels that we purchased are entirely galvanized steel and only cost $5.00 at the local hardware store. We attatched them to the corner of the bottom 2″x4″x7′ corners of the triangle with two screws and to the very bottom 1″x1″x40″ support with a third. A wheel was attatched to all four corners. To the front and back faces of the triangles, where the top 2″x4″x7′ beam and the 1″x1″x4.5″ supports meet, we attatched handles so as to push and pull the chicken tractor.
3. Attatch Shade Cloth, and Chicken Wire
* So as to provide the chickens with a source of shade we attatched cloth along the upper portion of the chicken tractor’s frame. Pulling on the cloth while using a staple gun, we made sure it was as tight as possible. On the triangle fances we had to do some bunching to make it tight. We then cut the remaining fabric off.
* We obtained chicken wire for $1.00/1’x4′ at the hardware store. We stapled the chicken wire over the fabric on all but the triangle face where the door was to be placed. Using wire cutters we removed the remaining chicken wire.
4. Build the Door
Quantity Size Cut Purpose
4 2″x4″x14″ Both flat (90o) Vertical part of frame and door
1 1″x1″x14″ One flat (90o) One 45o outward Next to frame; to staple wire to
2 2″x4″x20″ Both flat (90o) Horizontal part of door
* To build the frame of the door turned out to be the most difficult part. We used 2 hinges which came in a pack together and cost $4.00 at the hardware store. We first built the frame using two 2″x4″x14″ vertical pieces then built the door using the two remaining pieces as well as the two 2″x4″x20″ horizontal pieces (For this it required 2.5″ screws). We attatched the door to the frame using the hinges and then sandwhiched the hinges between one of the 2″x4″x14″ vertical pieces from the frame and the 1″x1″x14″ piece.
5. Finish off the Door Side Chicken Wire
* Staple chicken wire to the door and to all the parts of the chicken tractor’s frame.
6. Let the chickens roam the yard without having to worry about your crops