Archive | 8:03 pm

DIY: A Collapsible Chicken Tractor

20 Oct

I’ve been acting a little too normal lately, so I felt it was time to insert a little dose of weirdness back into the neighbourhood. What better way to do that than to park a chicken or two in the front yard?

I’ve been thinking that it’s a good idea to use the chickens to assist in weeding, cultivating and fertilising the soil. It’s not a new concept, but up until now I’ve found that the girls do more damage than good. They’ve eaten my veggies more times than I can remember, and when they even dug up and ate my flower bulbs It made me very cross indeed!

I’ve been thinking of constraining them in some form of moveable chicken tractor. As most of my gardening occurs along the road, I’ve been thinking that a small bottomless coop in the same width of my Bed A is the best idea.

So during the week P spent a good portion of his birthday designing and purchasing the materials for this little masterpiece. Isn’t he sweet?

The idea is that the tractor would:

  1. Be bottomless for the chickens to scratch
  2. Be collapsible so it doesn’t take much room to store
  3. Provide shading for the chooks on hot days
  4. Prevent the chooks scratching the soil sideways out of the garden bed
  5. Be big enough for a couple of chooks to comfortably scratch around
  6. Be able to be anchored down so it wouldn’t blow over (and allow the chooks to escape)

So after a few iterations in the design, today he finished it.

It is square, lined with shadecloth and quite sturdy.

And as per the brief, it collapses down flat.

My parents visited today and helped in the commissioning. It was a perfect fit, and P pegged it down through the eyelets installed for the purpose.

We decided that one of the broody hens was the best candidate to get us started. I’ve been trying to get the broody ones off the laying boxes without much success.

She went in quite happily. There was plenty of baby spinach to gobble up and worms to scratch around to find. The kids thought it was loads of fun!

We left her there for a couple of hours this afternoon. There is still plenty of digging to be done, so I might put two hens out tomorrow.

So P is a very popular husband indeed!