After awhile we found that we yet again, needed another level in our system. The eldest chicks that were in the wired tunnel were getting bigger and becoming a bit too big for it. However they were still slightly too small to be out in the open. We realised that we didn’t really have the room for anything more in our backyard either. What to do?
When we got our first lot of chickens, Betty and Martha, we had a moveable coop or “Chicken Tractor” that Kel’s Dad had built a number of years ago. It’s basically a steel framed box with a corrugated iron roof and covered with either chicken mesh, corrugated iron panels or wooden panels. There is a moveable wheel on either side at one end that you lock down into place when moving the coop, and then you lock up into place when the coop is stationary to keep it firmly on the ground to prevent predators from being able to sneak under. Obviously there is a lockable door.
As our flock grew, Kel renovated the coop and added bits to it so as to create more room. It became permanently stationary due to the positions it was put in and the add ons. At one point it was standing on its end with an aviary attached to it. However as it was purpose built perfectly the way it was, even with tweaks and add ons, it was tiresome to clean and get in and out of. Kel decided it was time to build a purpose built chicken coop and then we would have the “Chicken Tractor” back for the older chicks. The purpose built chicken coop is nothing majorly special and isn’t quite finished – it’s completely usable and comfortable for the chickens however there are some finishing touches Kel wants to make before he posts about it 🙂
Anyway Kel fixed up the Chicken Tractor so that it was usable again as it was originally purposed for. The plan was to put it on his parents land and that it would follow the cows. Once the cows had finished in a paddock, the Chicken Tractor would be put in that paddock and every day Kel would move it onto fresh pasture and as the chickens made their way around the paddock, they would scratch up the cow paddies plus add their own manure, which would in turn improve the pasture. When they were old enough, from there the hens would be moved in with the pigs on the land we agist and the roosters would be culled and into the freezer.
This is off my Instagram – when Kel’s Dad first gave the Chicken Tractor to us we painted it in camouflage so the foxes wouldn’t be able to see it 😉 This is only one angle obviously and doesn’t show the wheels nor the door