Thursday, August 8, 2013

New chicken tractors

I am not a big fan of chicken tractors, but my husband loves them, and since he takes care of the poultry, I'm not going to argue the issue. Over the years, we have had four different designs ... PVC construction, all wood construction, wood frame and stainless steel sides and roof, and then this design. I personally thought this one would fly off like a big kite, but we've had this one for three years, and it's still here in one piece, and we have never (knock on wood) had it fly off or flip over in high winds. So, when we recently realized we needed a couple more chicken tractors, this was the one Mike wanted to repeat because it is light-weight and easy to move.

He wanted to build them in the barn so that they would be flat on concrete ... meaning they would be square. Building them outside on uneven ground might make for an uneven foundation, and that would be bad. Here are a couple of different views of construction, in case you might want to make one.

If you've ever searched for chicken tractors online, you've probably found similar models posted on other blogs and websites. One reason I'm kind of excited about this one is because I had an 'aha!' moment about this one recently. I'm hoping to turn one of them into a high tunnel this fall. We only use them for roosters and turkeys, which are destined to become meat by fall or earlier, and it occurred to me that we could replace the blue tarp with greenhouse plastic in the fall and ... voila! ... we'll have a high tunnel!

We've been using unheated low tunnels to grow food through the winter for three years now, and the only thing I don't like about them is crawling around in the snow to harvest lettuce and other greens. I've looked at commercial high tunnels, but they cost more than we can afford, so this seems like a great solution. With it being lightweight, the plan is to lift it up and sit it over one of our existing raised beds.

This post was shared at the Homestead Barn Hop!


Michelle said...

That's a brilliant "aha!" Good on you!

Velva said...

Very, very cool! I really enjoy following your posts.


Kate said...

We would like to make some of these too. What are the dimensions? Thanks, Kate

Deborah Niemann said...

It's about 8 foot by 10 foot.


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