Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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How to make a chicken tractor for under $20

Our best chicken tractor.

You can shell out hundreds of dollars and get a ready-made tractor, but Mark has had great luck with making our own for under $20 apiece.  This post is the first in a series about how to make a cheap, serviceable chicken tractor.  During the planning stages, you should keep these top tips in mind:

  • Ignore people who say you should add wheels to your tractor.  Wheels make the tractor hard to maneuver around your garden and are a general pain.
  • Our best chicken tractor from a different angle.Make multiple doors on your tractor.  Our best tractor currently has two, but I'd like it to have three --- a door in the back of the nest box for easy egg-stealing, a door on the top of the tractor so that the hens don't mob you when you drop in scraps, and a big door which allows a whole human to get in for tractor repair and lets the hens get out easily if you want them to free range.
  • Make your tractor as light as possible.  As the chief tractor-dragger, I have to say that pulling even our lightest tractor uphill on wet grass often ends up with me on my butt.  Lighter next time, please, Mark!

Of course, you need to add in all of the usual components --- a perch as well as a spot for chickens to get out of the sun and rain.  Otherwise, it's pretty hard to go wrong with tractor construction.  Give it a shot --- surely you can build something serviceable for less than a few hundred bucks!

We invented our homemade chicken waterer specifically for tractors.  Check it out to prevent spilling of water on uneven terrain.

This post is part of our Introduction to Chicken Tractors series.  Read all of the entries:

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so when you going to have instructions for that $20 chicken tractor?
Comment by tara late Tuesday afternoon, May 7th, 2013
Tara --- If you follow the links in the green box, you'll see each step in the construction process.
Comment by anna Friday evening, May 10th, 2013

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