Upcycled Chicken Tractor

In the running for ugliest chicken tractor of all time!

In the running for ugliest chicken tractor of all time!

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.

Wheel in "down" position - no critters crawling under this!

Wheel in “down” position – no critters crawling under this!

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.

Action shot!

Action shot!

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.

wheel up so it can move easily

wheel up so it can move easily

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.

close up of our pen panels

close up of our pen panels

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!

Doesn't he look thrilled to be my model?

Doesn’t he look thrilled to be my model?

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.

Our babies--note that this is a garden wagon with one of our handy dandy panels as a lid

Our babies–note that this is a garden wagon with one of our handy dandy panels as a lid

Shared at Simple Lives Thursday

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3 thoughts on “Upcycled Chicken Tractor

  1. Hi Daniel, Charlie, Lara, and Lindsay,

    I really enjoy our blog. I recently read your post “what if your son was gay?” I especially like when you wrote “My gay son would be raised with compassion, acceptance, and enough confidence to spare.” I work at Storypanda, a kids digital media company and we have a great new book on the iPad that helps teach kids about being proud of their differences as well as accepting the differences of others. It is already available in print and titled It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr. This book has been praised by parents and educators worldwide for its message.

    We have worked with Todd Parr to create an interactive version so now kids can create their own version by swapping out characters and props. This way kids can personalize the message to better identify with the message. After reading your blog post I thought this might be something you might be interested in. I would love to tell you more about it at your convenience. I’ve included a few links for you below.

    *

    Book Trailer Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHpKRLgZvq0 Screen shots: http://storypanda.com/its-ok-to-be-different-press/* *App Download Shortlink: http://get.storypanda.com/?itsokay** * * * *Let’s make sure every kids knows that it’s okay to be different. :)* * * *Cheers,* * * *Veronica*

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