Our big project over the past month was building this chicken tractor. It’s a mobile chicken coop that can house about 50 birds. We designed it so that it can be moved from place to place across our property, giving the chickens continual access to fresh grass and worms, while fertilizing the land with the chicken’s waste. After building it we got a lot of questions about it, so we thought a little step-by-step “how to” about the chicken tractor would make a great subject for the very first Senkos Farm blog post. Enjoy!
STEP 1: We bought a used 4’ x 8’ trailer off of craigslist. This formed the base of our chicken coop on wheels. Before we could start turning it into a coop, we had to rip off some random hardware and plywood that were attached to it.
STEP 2: We bolted 2×4”s to the frame. We then stapled 1×2” wire mesh (the kind used for rabbit hutches) to the 2×4”s so that the bottom of the chicken tractor will be open and all of the chicken poop will fall down to the ground.
STEP 3: We framed 4 the four walls and nailed them to the frame and to one another. We used almost all reclaimed lumber from our barn for this project.
STEP 4: We sheeted 3 of the walls with ¼” plywood. We covered oneside wall with the same wire mesh we used on the bottom so that the coop will get lots of light and encourage the birds to be outside.
STEP 7: Then we crawled inside the coop and covered the next boxes up with ¼” plywood, and cut 6”x 6” holes into each box for the chickens to get in and out. We installed 8 roosts to help the chickens get up to the boxes and to give them somewhere to sleep at night. For the roosts we used big straight branches that we found out by the creek.
STEP 8: We made it look nice. We painted it barn red, trimmed it in white, and spray painted the metal trailer frame black. Also, we bolted a piece of 1” plywood to the front of the trailer so we have a little shelf/storage space to keep food, water, and other heavy thing and we mounted a small solar panel to the roof.
The coop turned out to be more than plenty of room for the 25 hens and one rooster that we bought from our friends Mike and Linda at Terra Farma. So far they appear to be loving it!