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chicken tractor plans?

 
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Location: Manitoba, Canada
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I'm looking for plans to build my first chicken tractor. Where should I go?
Thanks!
 
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Is there a style you're thinking about? What kind of chickens, laying or meat?
 
Bryan Johnson
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I'm raising browns for eggs and compost. I'm looking for something for 30 chickens which is mobile and simple to build. I would like it oriented toward compost production. Wood prices being what they are this year, bonus points if it can be made from pvc pipe.
 
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1. Are you planning to move this year-round, or only in warm weather? (PVC gets brittle in the cold - we've been around 2-4 C overnight lately and #2 son just broke a pipe and cracked an adjacent fitting.  Not the first time...)

2. Is this strictly for night use with birds reliably let out all day? Some things called "chicken tractors" have open bottoms so the birds can peck at the dirt and grass, but they are contained inside full time. This is what we do for Hubby's "Industrial layers", because they're too inexperienced with flying predators to survive in our high aerial predator zone. For this to work, you need at least 8 sq feet/bird (0.75 square meters). So if you're looking for 30 birds, I'd split them into 2 groups and build two 10' by 12' tractors. The downside of this approach is that you need reasonably flat ground and low vegetation which limits the amount of bugs/veggies the birds forage, but it spreads the poop really well.

3. If you are just looking for night housing, some of the chick-shaw patterns might work. I've seen one adaptation using hooped EMT pipe that would work with PVC. The wheels on these styles are usually quite large diameter, but I still know of people admitting that as soon as they hit soft ground or a bad slope, they either tipped over or bogged down. In other words, keep it as light as you can! I've seen more "portable" shelters that end up planted permanently or semi-permanently than I care to mention.

4. Have you considered more of a rotational paddock system? More expense and work to set up, but less work later and you can plant chicken friendly plants like mulberry that a tractor can't move over top of.

Look around here on permies. I know that permies have done builds that would give you ideas.
Tons of ideas here: https://permies.com/t/1958/chicken-coops-runs-tractors-paddocks

There are two great builds here: https://permies.com/t/25204/Mobile-Chicken-Coop-Build

There's a link to a chick-shaw here: https://permies.com/t/135132/Making-Portable-Chicken-Tractor
 
I don't get it. A whale wearing overalls? How does that even work? It's like a tiny ad wearing overalls.
Sepp Holzer's 3-in-1 Permaculture documentaries (Farming, Terraces, and Aquaculture) streaming video
https://permies.com/wiki/141614/videos/Sepp-Holzer-Permaculture-documentaries-Farming
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