What is a Chicken Tractor?
If you’re looking for a way to move your chickens around easily, you’ll find that nothing is better than a chicken tractor. Not only does it provide the chickens with a comfortable home to live in, but the home is fully portable!
Read on to find everything you need to know about chicken tractors, what they are, how to build a chicken tractor, and so much more…
What is a Chicken Tractor?
A chicken tractor is basically a chicken coop, but without a floor. This type of chicken coop allows your chickens to enjoy a bit of free ranging while still providing them with shelter and keeping them in an enclosed space.
Chicken tractors come in many shapes and sizes. A-frame chicken tractors look like a giant tent without a floor, and are one of the simplest types of chicken tractors to build. A box frame chicken tractor looks like a traditional chicken coop (four walls and a roof), but without a floor.
What is a Chicken Tractor For?
If you’re wondering why you’d want to build a chicken tractor instead of a chicken coop, think about your chickens. They don’t want to spend their lives cooped up in a small cage, but they want to roam free. Chickens love to forage among the grass and weeds of your property, searching for bugs, worms, and other food to eat. A natural diet is always best for your chickens, but unfortunately they spend most of their time in their cage.
Well, with a chicken tractor, your chickens can enjoy as much freedom as possible while still being cared for.
The chicken tractor allows your chickens fresh forage, which will actually help to improve their diet. They’ll be able to eat the grass, worms, and bugs they love, and this can cut the cost of having to feed your chickens. You’ll find that the chickens will dig, weed, and fertilize the soil for you, which is where they get their name from.
But why make the chicken tractor portable? Well, if you leave a chicken in one spot for too long, they will peck the heck out of the ground! The foraging for bugs and worms will strip the ground, and you could end up with an empty patch in the middle of your property.
Thanks to the wheels on your chicken tractor, you can just move the cage a few feet and give the chickens a whole new patch of ground to enjoy. You’ll avoid damaging your property, the chickens will find myriad bugs and worms to enjoy, and life will be wonderful for your poultry.
Of course, with a chicken tractor, you get all the benefits of a chicken coop, but without keeping your chickens enclosed in a small space. Your chickens are protected from predators thanks to the cage, and there is shelter provided as well. The fresh air, exercise, sunlight, and forage helps to make your chickens much healthier than chickens kept indoors all the time, but your chickens will still have the comfy nest boxes where they can lay their eggs.
A chicken tractor is a total win-win for you and your chickens, so it’s definitely a good idea to invest in building your own!
How to Build a Chicken Tractor
Building a chicken tractor is actually a lot easier than you’d think! Basically, you only need to make a frame for the four walls and a roof, and attach a set of wheels to the structure so you can wheel the frame around. It’s one of the easiest DIY projects you can do, and you’ll find that it’s fairly inexpensive as well!
For this project, you will need:
- Wood (2″ x 4″ is best)
- Chicken wire
- Roofing material
- Paneling (it can be thin)
- 1 or 2 sets of wheels
- Screws, wood glue, drill, sandpaper, staples (for chicken wire)
Basically, all you need to do is assemble your basic chicken coop frame, be it an A-frame, a lean-to style, or a box frame. Screws and wood glue will hold the corners of your frame together, and you can make a simple, sturdy frame for the coop.
Once you have the frame, it’s time to attach the chicken wire all around, using staples to hold the chicken wire in place. You’ll want to add the paneling to one end of the chicken coop in order to provide shelter, as well as a bit of roofing (in a small section) to protect the chickens from the sun. That’s where you will place the chicken’s nest box.
After that, all you need to do is attach the wheels. Many people only use a single set of wheels, as it’s easy to drag or push the box with wheels on one end. You can add a second pair if you want–it’s up to you!
Here’s a video showing you a beautiful chicken tractor you can build all on your own:
If you want quick and easy plans for a chicken tractor, check out this link. It will teach you how to turn old pallets into a nifty chicken tractor in a few minutes, giving your chickens a wonderful place to live.
Or scroll through this Pinterest page to look at photos of awesome chicken coops, tractors, and sheds. You can draw up your own plans for a simple or fancy chicken tractor, and you’ll find that it’s one of the easiest structures to build.
The beauty of a chicken tractor is that you’re giving your poultry the chance to roam free, all the while protecting them from the elements and keeping them enclosed. It’s one of the best options for those who want to grow healthy chickens as naturally as possible, and who want to give their poultry a good life.
Chicken tractors are wonderfully cheap and easy to build. You’re building a simple, lightweight frame that is designed to be portable, giving you a way to move your chickens’ home around and give them a fresh, new environment as often as necessary. Talk about chicken-friendly!