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RAISING CHICKENS

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Thanks to Paul Monachino for sending in his new chicken tractor inspired temporary housing:


After a fox attack killed off my six chickens and rooster, I realized I had major reconstruction that I needed to do in my barn and chicken coop and run. Inspired by chicken tractors I had seen on line, I decided to temporarily house my new birds in my version of a tractor. I had a pen for a rabbit made of pvc and rabbit wire, and left over plywood and 1x4s from a winter remodeling project. I build my coop from the lumber and plywood approx. 4x4 with a pitched roof covered with corrugated pvc roofing. It is mounted on two 5/4 x 6 decking planks smoothed and rounded as skids, with no flooring. I cut a 16”square hole for the door and a same sized window above it for light.

Inside there are three perches, and now an opening for access to two nesting boxes that can be reached from outside by lifting the roofing. The boxes are removable for cleaning out. I attached my pvc pen to the chicken coop with brackets, covered it with deer netting, providing for a section that opens for access to the inside of the pen. A rope attached to the skids enables me to move the entire assembly to a new spot in the pasture every Friday. The chicken tractor was placed inside the sheep pasture (after checking with the local vet) as the pasture is protected by five electric wires, keeping out predators.

I soon had to run some temporary wire around the tractor to keep the sheep out as well when they learned how tasty the chicken feed was! I keep an automatic waterer and feeder under cover, put in a couple of small perches, and provide some shade with a tarp. We are still waiting for our first eggs, I expect that will be early fall. I am now able to take my time rebuilding the permanent chicken coop and run that will provide better security from predator attack.

In the meantime, having the chickens in this little chicken tractor has been amusing and certainly a conversation starter. Every week they get a new 10x10 plot to scavenge, and they are fertilizing and manicuring the pasture.

I enjoy reading the newsletter and viewing what others have shared. While my creation can’t compete with some others for the aesthetics prize, it is a different and functional approach that I think has done just what I wanted it to do."

 

 

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