Get farming with a chicken tractor
Chickens can be a welcome addition to the home food garden, eating pests, fertilising the soil and supplying eggs. Introduce them to your garden with a home-built chicken tractor.
What you need:
SA pine cutting list:
2 x 2000mm x 70mm x 45mm (sides of base)
2 x 1250mm x 70mm x 45mm (front and back of base)
4 x 470mm x 22mm x 22mm (brace)
4 x 286mm x 44mm x 44mm (runner support)
4 x 286mm x 19mm x 19mm (runner)
2 x 515mm x 44mm x 22mm (stopper)
2 x 908mm x 44mm x 44mm (back frame upright)
2 x 430mm x 44mm x 44mm (back frame cross)
2 x 908mm x 44mm x 44mm (front frame upright)
1 x 500mm x 44mm x 44mm (front frame cross)
2 x 740mm x 35mm x 35mm (door upright)
2 x 425mm x 35mm x 35mm (door top and bottom)
1 x 840mm x 190mm x 18mm plyboard (ramp)
4 x 190mm x 19mm x 19mm (ramp beading)
8 x 25mm wire nails
3 x 2600mm x 22mm polycop water pipe
2 x 2740mm x 1220mm welded mesh wire
1 x 2600mm x 225mm galvanised sheeting
2 x 1000mm x 360mm welded mesh (front)
1 x 1270mm x 1000mm welded mesh (back)
1 x 710mm x 440mm welded mesh (door)
2 x 500mm x m10 threaded bar (axles)
2 x 180mm PVC wheels
2 x 75mm butt hinges
1 x barrel bolt
70 x 32mm fencing staples
21 x 130mm cable ties
32 x 15mm x 4mm self-tapping screws
50 x 40mm x 4mm full-thread cut strews
1m binding wire
8 x m10 nuts (secure wheels)
2 x crates – need the dimensions
1 litre multipurpose primer
1 litre water-based terracotta paint
Drill/driver, 22mm wood bit, tape measure, pencil, saw,
hammer, angle grinder, side cutters, wood glue, spanners.
What you do:
1.Make up the base frame using the 75mm screws. Measure 90mm from the front and back of the frame and drill 22mm holes 40mm deep. Do the same at the centre of the sides of the frame. These holes will serve to hold the three arches.
2.Place the lengths of polycop into the holes, arching them over the frame, and secure them with the 15mm screws.
3.Prime and paint the base and then attach the welded mesh over the polycop, securing it to the base with fencing staples. Cover the back half with the galvanised sheeting in the same way. Join the sheeting to the mesh using the binding wire.
4.Make the door and doorframe according to the diagrams, securing the frame with the 75mm screws.
5.Assemble the back frame according to the diagram and attach it to the base in the same way you did the front. Attach the polycop pipe to the front and back frames using 40mm screws. Make up the nesting box shelves according to the diagrams and secure them to the back framework.
6.Prime and paint the back and front frames and, once dry, secure the door using the butt hinges and the barrel bolt.
7.Cover the front and back frames and the door with the welded mesh.
8.Cut one side out of the crate to open it so the chickens can get in, and place it on the nesting box shelves.
9.Make up a ramp for the chickens using the plyboard and attach the 190mm x 19mm x 19mm ramp beading to the top of the ramp, leaving a 240mm space between strips.
10.Secure the threaded bar to the bottom of the base at the back using the fencing staples, and attach the wheels to the threaded bar using the m10 bolts as stoppers on either side of the wheels.