So chicken tractors are a wonderful concept. They allow for chickens to live on pasture eating bugs and grass and enjoying the sunshine while also providing a predator proof enclosure.
These tractors are built to be moved daily (twice a day towards the end of the chickens life when they are biggest and need more access to fresh pasture). For us since we are living off site, chicken tractors are the only way we could possibly raise chickens without loosing them all to the foxes, rats, weasels and hawks!
After doing a lot of research (there are many design options) we decided to go with a chicken tractor that a human could stand in. We may change our minds later but the ease of being able to walk in and out appealed to us though it definitely adds weight! Field was initially concerned the tractor would be too light and not sturdy enough to hold up to a large storm. This proved not to be the case and our tractors are so heavy they need to be pulled by a machine! For now field doesn't mind and they are (if I do say so myself ) stunning and effective chicken tractors!
The construction itself was very exciting. We called in extra hands to help get them done in time to house the rapidly growing chicks. We built an 8'-12' frame and used three cattle panels to create the hoop.
Field then built framing and a door way. Next was covering the whole thing in chicken wire.
Last field used sheet metal to shelter the back end and provide shade along the run( you can see how it got heavy quick!)
we run 50 chickens in each tractor and, for our first run at least, field started moving them twice a day at 6 weeks to make sure they continuously had access to fresh pasture. Our first run is about to hit the eight week mark so we plan to butcher them this week! And as for the tractors they have worked great and ended up being the perfect design for our needs!
Mother of 2 beautiful girls! Our growing family is the largest drive we have to build a life filled with good food and a connection to the land.