Last year when we were totally inspired by the idea of backyard chickens we built an adorable chicken coop (note to self—need to blog about our awesome coop) and it is a great home for our laying hens, but it really doesn’t have enough room for our more temporary chicken guests–our meat chickens. This year we decided we’d add a chicken tractor to our backyard menagerie. Only this year we are decidedly less motivated to spend money on all things chicken related so when my brother in law mentioned he had an old plastic lawn storage bin he was going to throw away, we volunteered to take this treasure off of his hands.
We happened to have the wheels from an old garden hose caddy laying around. Yes, my husband saves everything. Every once in a while we have exactly the piece of junk we need for a project—of course often we can’t actually find it in the collection of random items.
He overcame the problem of needing the wheel to have clearance and the chicken tractor needing to be flush with the ground by roughly following the method he found here.
In the standard position the wheel is flush with the side of the tractor so there is no gap for chickens to crawl out or predators to crawl in.
When it is time to move it, we just flip the lever and the wheel (and end of the chicken coop) is raised off the ground so it is easy to move.
Last year we made panels of chicken fencing out of metal conduit and hardware mesh and these have proven to be a good investment. They have held together well and can be reconfigured with brackets or zip ties into several different pen arrangements.
We bolted the storage bin to the fencing and added a lock to the top to make sure the entire thing was secure and that was it — ugly but cheap and easily movable chicken tractor!
I’m not sure how long the bin will hold up–we might only get a season or two out of it but we spent a total of $6 on bolts, etc. and have a place for these guys to move into as soon as they get big enough.
Shared at Simple Lives Thursday