If you are not familiar with the term “Chicken Tractor”, its basically just a portable chicken run so that chickens can be moved around to eat fresh grass, much like a tractor mowing a yard. We had originally planned to allow the chickens to free range in our backyard. That lasted for a couple weeks….right up until we lost 6 chickens to a family of Georgia Red Foxes. The chickens seemed so happy free-ranging so we hated to leave them locked up in the chicken coop and attached run with no access to fresh grass. That’s when we decided it was time to design and build a “Chicken Tractor”.
I spent some time searching Google for designs and looking at pictures of other people’s chicken tractors. I saw several I liked but few that provided instructions on how to build one. I ended up using Google Sketchup to design a tractor that would meet our requirements:
Source of water so the chickens can stay hydrated during the hot Georgia summer
Sturdy enough to protect the chickens from predators
Protection from the bottom so predators can not dig under the side walls
Large enough for 14 chickens
Roof to provide shade and to keep them dry in the rain
Similar style to our homemade chicken coop and a way to easily transfer the chickens from their main coop to the chicken tractor
Here is the final Sketchup drawing:
The entire frame is made of 2x4s and the door is made from a combination of 1×3’s and 1×4’s. I used wood screws (various lengths) where possible and Kreg Jig HD pocket holes and HD screws everywhere else. I don’t plan to provide step by step plans like I usually do but if you want to build this and need more help please leave a reply and I will answer your questions as time permits.
Here are some pictures of the building process:
Here are some pictures of the water system in the finished chicken tractor:
Here are some pictures of how the unit can hook up to the main coop. I built a little tunnel off of the main run and put a matching door on the end of the tunnel. Both doors have to be removed for the chickens to move freely between the two spaces:
Here are a few pictures of the tractor in use:
For those that haven’t seen enough yet…here are a couple videos:
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