Or Ark… I think I like “Chicken Ark” better. πŸ˜‰

We meant to have this tractor built before the chicks came… sorta. But much of our ranch endeavors have fallen into the category of “catch up” projects. Really, we had too much on our plates, but once you’re garage is full of fowl then you just have to do what is necessary. πŸ˜‰

I had actually originally thought to use the tractor for the broilers that I want to raise, but our 25 layers quickly outgrew their “brooder” and so we needed to get them a bigger space pronto! Hence my amazing “design.”

Aren’t I an amazing artist! I can (almost) draw a box! We had some 1×1’s that I thought would work perfect for the tractor and I wanted to do the dimensions in a way that would use the fewest cuts and waste the least lumber. I’m not, by any means, an engineer or an architect, so someone could likely come up with a better plan than this, but Stuart thought it was a pretty good lil sketch, and he added a couple extra pieces for support, but over all this was what we went with. And 24 inches tall ended up being plenty high and more so this could be made even shorter and still work just fine as a tractor.

Because it’s 8ft long we got 48″ chicken wire from Tractor Supply (I love that store!) and were able to cover the whole thing with just 2 sections, and two smaller end pieces. So that saved on a lot of wire cutting! Worked out well. And since then, Stuart has added a hinged “door” on top of the tractor which really helps a LOT with getting food and water into the thing for the birds. It was rather humorous to try to put the food in under the edge and simultaneously catch little chickens that were trying to escape!

Feeding frenzy!! The chicks LOVED their new space, and they’ve spent about 2 weeks in it. In the mornings I drag the thing out to some dirt with grass patches in it, and they go nuts about it! They scratch and dust bathe and flap their happy wings, and lounge in the sun! I use some old plywood to prop up against one end of the tractor to make sure they have shade if they want it. Then in the evening we bring them back into the garage and set the tractor on a tarp. It’s not ideal, but it’s working for now till we can get the “teen” birds down to the big girl coop. That’ll free this up for the meat birds which is what it was supposed to be for in the first place πŸ™‚

Shared with the Barn Hop at The Prairie Homestead