Remember the old cotton trailer we bought a few weeks ago? Well, we have now finished converting it into our chicken tractor. It took a full two weekends, but we are very happy with the end results.
Step one was to put on a roof. Sounds easy enough until I realized that meant drilling sixteen 1/2″ holes through 1/8″ steel. But twenty 2x4s, four 2x6s, six sheets of plywood, a box of screws, and many drill bits later we finished.
As you can see we also cut out a panel and installed a chain link fence door/ramp for the chickens to walk up, and so we can close them up to secure them at night.
Did I mention that the burn ban was lifted for Fort Bend County? We hadn’t been able to burn for almost a year, so we had some large brush piles. We tossed a match to our two piles, and they went up fast! Within 30 minutes the piles disappeared. I’ve never seen anything burn so fast.
End of weekend number one.
Weekend two started slow and drizzly. Went to Lowe’s and bought more wood… it seems like we are always buying wood at Lowe’s. Anyway, we got back and put up 6 roosting poles and built 12 nesting boxes.
The chicken tractor is done! Well, mostly. I still want to reinforce the door (it was bent from us walking up/down it all weekend). I also want to put shingles or corrugated panels on the roof, because I have a feeling that plywood isn’t going to handle the Houston weather very well. We also might wrap the entire thing with contractor plastic to keep the weather out if it gets cold and rainy again before winter ends.
Only one problem… we built everything backwards. The roof pitched the wrong way, and the door opened on the wrong side. So I hooked it back up to the Jeep and took it for a drive to turn it around. I was nervous how the roof would handle driving on our uneven ground. I was fearing that it would rip apart from the trailer flexing. But it held together perfectly, and we got it positioned exactly where we wanted it to be.
The last thing we needed to do to get ready for the chickens was install 350′ of chicken fencing, wire up the energizer, pound in a 6′ grounding rod, and plug it in. 8000 volts of electrified goodness sprang to life.