Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Wheel lift for a chicken tractor

Chicken tractor wheel lift

Wheels down to move tractorDuncan's heated chicken waterer was exciting, but I have to admit that I found his chicken tractor wheel lift system even more inspiring.  Although we've since changed over to pastures, we spent the first four years of our chicken-keeping career dragging tractors around the yard.  At first, Mark mounted wheels on some of the tractors, but the wheels tended to raise that end off the ground and let chickens sneak out, so I eventually had him delete Wheels up when tractor is at restthem.  Not so with Duncan's wheels!  He writes:

The wheel lift system is my invention. I worked it out so the chicken tractor is balanced with very little effort needed to lift the end to move it. The location near the center also prevents the operator from lifting it high enough on either end for a hen to escape. (if the wheels Chicken tractorare near the end the operator could lift high enough for the birds to fly the coop! LOL!) It's also very easy to lift or drop by even a small child.
The tractor sits 3" off the ground when raised on fat 10" wheels and is very easy to roll around (even uphill) and on soft ground. It would be easy to make these in such a way that the assembly could be bolted on to a chicken tractor with a Lag bolt into say a 4x4 or whatever was strong enough to support the force placed on it. In other words they could be built and installed on various configurations of chicken tractors after market.

Duncan's stunning diagrams and photos tell the whole story much better than I could.  Aren't you chicken tractor folks itching to try it out?

Wheel diagram

Our chicken waterer is a low-tech solution to another common tractor problem --- water that spills or fills with poop.

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I have been building a coop - a HUGE, HEAVY coop and I am stuck at the end trying to figure out how to put wheels on it to move it. I love this idea, but I am so tired and cannot even think any more. My coop is 4x4 raised 15" off of the ground and has an attached run that is 6'. I don't know how long, how wide, what lumber to use. The sides of my coop are vertical. What do I use to space the lever from the coop? Can I use bolts rather than those hairpin thingies? The people at Lowe's know me by sight, but they will not cut this for me, I know. Help! :0/
Comment by Mom of Two Girls and Three Cats late Tuesday night, February 19th, 2014
Mom of Two Girls and Three Cats --- I wish I could help you out with details, but we've never actually made a wheel lift and our guest poster isn't available for comment. I hope you'll drop me an email with some photos if you do figure it out and make your own, though!
Comment by anna late Monday morning, February 24th, 2014
I have been using these for several months now. It worked great at first but the tires kept going flat. I changed to 13" tires. My challenge is that when they are tight they work great, after about two weeks they loosen and get progressively worse until it us almost immovable. :0 (
Comment by Mom of two girls and three cats terribly early Thursday morning, September 18th, 2014

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