I want to let them pasture all day if they want but, I just cannot be there to watch over them. Predators can get them, they could go into the road, they
I also wanted to be able to keep the birds in one spot so they could "mow" and fertilize for me.
Solution: Chicken tractor! Perusing the inter-webs for ideas, there are several great ones, I decided on the PVC hoop style. Reasons: lower cost & lighter weight
Free, outdoor friendly, and re-using materials that would otherwise fill the landfill.
I also have long screws that were from the same salvage operation.
I bought a big roll of chicken-wire to use for protecting my baby fruit trees and will use that for the cover to keep the hawks out and the chickens in.
I had to purchase the following:
flexible PVC 50 foot roll 1/2 inch $15
pack of pipe straps $2.50
wheels and hardware to attach them to the runners $18
the corner 2x4 are dual purpose: bracing/stability AND for chickens to stand on.
The entrance corner has double brace because I wanted a place to put the water and feed.
i had to use the flexible pvc because the regular would snap and break as the tractor is only 4'wide.
The shade cloth is leftover frost blanket for gardens.
I get the girls in there by playing fetch the treats. throw the treat in there and they go get it - easy.
So here is how it turned out:
|Happy and safe foraging!|
I can move it laterally by lifting and moving one end at a time over to where I need it.
I am pretty sure I am going to trade out my salvaged strap handle with a longer rope handle. Why: so I won't have to bend over as much to pull it and so me hand won't get squished between handle and door.
Downside is I have to wait till they all have laid before I can put them all in at once.
It occurred to me this is slightly larger than the width of a garden row. What a great way to have the chickens do tilling work for you!
All I need is a mini feeder and some more clothespins to hold down the shade cloth.
There are so many cool tractors out there on the web. Mine was a fly by the seat of my pants one (no plans)
It took 3 days to build ('cause I also have other things to do besides build tractors).
I tried to use as much of what I already had.
If you have any questions about my project please comment.
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