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This ain't no chicken truck

 
Posts: 76
Location: Illinois, zone 6b
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This is my new chicken train. Ben is pulling triples with a 1951 Ferguson tractor; hay wagon with supplies on it, chicken coop, and sled with solar powered fence energizer on aluminum runners. Only a little more modification is necessary to haul all the supplies without the hay wagon.

The chicken coop is a wooden A frame with welded wire fencing stapled over every surface. The roof is a used billboard tarp, stretched over the welded wire and held fast by rolling the edges of the tarp in wood and screwing it down.

The gable ends use corrugated plastic sheets from yard signs left over from a political campaign. The door (on one gable side) is plenty large for a person to go through easily. The door features 2 eyebolts, and a third eyebolt is located on the runner below. A large L shaped rod locks the door closed, or drives into the ground like a stake to keep the door open and not let it move in the wind. The nest boxes are along the other gable side. The back of the nest boxes folds down and becomes a shelf, so I can set egg cartons on it and gather eggs with two hands at the same time.

The floor is is mostly welded wire with some wooden framing. The substructure uses 2x8" runners with polypipe screwed along the bottom. The polypipe slides very well on grass and keeps the wood off the ground. I try not to slide it over gravel or pavement however. The floor is over 6" above the ground so I can pull it around without breaking any chicken toes. The wire floor makes the coop self cleaning. All the crap stays behind when I move it. There are wooden perches so they don't have to stand on wire all the time. If I get worried about frostbite, I can add straw. A human who enters the coop is supposed to stand on the wooden framing members.

The energizer sled is sized to also carry four 5 gallon buckets. It's on aluminum runners because I had some pipe that was perfect. Of course they are part of the grounding system. Under the moisture conditions currently they are a sufficient ground unto themselves! I have 3 grounding rods with it as well. At the very least I can get away with driving my ground rods less deep, making moves easier.

I'm using electrified poultry netting and a paddock shift system.
 
pollinator
Posts: 363
Location: NW Pennsylvania Zone 5B bordering on Zone 6
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That is quite a train you have going on. It looks great! I appreciate the explanation of the thought process, logic and repurposable materials.
 
steward
Posts: 1390
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
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That is a great system. Thanks for sharing something that is worth copying.
 
Posts: 5
Location: Temple Terrace, FL
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Very cool! How many hens do you have in there? And how often do you move the train? And how big of an area do you give them? Can you tell I want to do the same thing?
 
ben harpo
Posts: 76
Location: Illinois, zone 6b
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The coop is sized for 50 hens. Their run has a perimeter of 320' electrified poulty net.

At the moment I have a straight run of 97 Delaware chicks in there, 30 days old. How often will they move? It depends. Probably once or twice per week.
 
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