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How to build a chicken tractor

  • how to build a chicken tractor

    There are many perks of owning poultry beyond having meat and eggs at your fingertips. Chickens are walking fertilizers, tillers and pest controllers. Investing in a small flock and a portable coop--called a chicken tractor--is a cost effective way to recycle garden and pasture waste.

  • tractor design

    All chicken tractors are bottomless, allowing the birds access to bugs and grass to forage and fertilize. There are hundreds of tractor variations, but chances are your poultry won't mind which one you choose. The following is designed for ease of assembly, courtesy of Katie Vail at Gardening Without Skills.

  • what you'll need

    What you'll need:

    --Lumber

    --10-foot lengths of 3/4" PVC pipe

    --Screws

    --20-foot roll of 48" wide chicken wire

    --Zip-ties

    --Power drill

    --Mitre saw

    --Wire snippers

    To see a detailed list and blueprints, visit the designer's website.

  • first step

    The first step to building your chicken tractor is to build the base out of the 2x3 lumber. Then put supports on the corners of the base.

  • second step

    Pre-drill holes in the PVC pipe, then attach it with 3-inch screws to the 2x2x8 that will sit at the peak of the tractor's arch.

  • third step

    Take two 10-foot sections of chicken wire and zip-tie it to the PVC pipe.

  • fourth step

    Katie Vail and her mother found that some of the leftover wire that comes wrapped around the chicken wire rolls can be used to sew the two pieces of wire together at the join. (No sewing skills required).

  • fifth step

    Attach the PVC pipes to the frame. Don't drill the screws in too tight or the PVC pipe will break when it is bent into the arch. Attach some extra chicken wire to the ends to seal in the run.

  • end result

    There's your basic chicken tractor! You can choose to remove the wire on one of the ends and build a plywood box for chickens to house in. Rigging wheels onto the run will also improve the tractor, as it should be moved daily.

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