Posts Tagged ‘chicken tractor’

Spring Chicks Update

So we did two hatches this spring, one with 8 our of 34 survived (not good at all). And then the second batch 14 out of 32 survived and are doing great. I sold a few from the first batch but kept the three mixed breed chicks, so all together I have 17. Some are mostly black, some are brown with stripes, and some are more blond with stripes.  I have no idea if any are pure or not.  I did read that when you cross a Plymouth Rock hen with a Speckled Sussex Rooster, male chicks will be black with a blond spot on his head, and the hens will be all black. So I have at least three black hens, and one black rooster, who we plan on eating.  We are going to butcher the roos in the fall, unless we get a SS roo, which we might keep.  All the chicks are in the brooder coop with a lamp that comes on in the evening and goes off during the day. Gotta keep the costs down!

We finished the Truck Cap Chicken Tractor, but not the run. We are housing our SS roo “Lucky”, two leghorn hens, and two young roos that were given to us in it.  One leghorn we are treating for “bumblefoot”  (abscess on the foot) and the other has severe feather loss. We call her “Franken-Chicken” and her feathers are growing back in.  They are both doing much better in the new coop. The two young roos are happier in there too, because in the layer coop they were getting picked on by “Little Roo” the RIR rooster.  Lucky and Little Roo, who isn’t so little anymore, started fighting so I had to seperate them.  They are getting used to sitting on the roosts while we push the CT to a new spot of grass every morning. The milk crate nest boxes are working out well, and Vincent can open the sliding window to reach in and get the eggs.  Next year we will set up Luck and our one and only SS hen to try to get some pure SS chicks. We plan on building a detachable run for the coop, but have gotten rather busy, not to mention hot out!

Blessed Summer Solstice to you all!

QH

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The Truck Cap Chicken Tractor

Saturday we started to work on our Truck Cap Chicken Tractor, which is a portable chicken coop with a Truck Cap as the roof. We are building it in two separate parts, the Cap and the Run.  We  don’t have a whole lot of carpentry experience, and don’t have the best tools, but we are doing the best we can.  Here are some pictures:

Paul putting together the base, which we made from salvaged wood from our deck we just tore down.

The cap, which we got for free from FreeCycle, fits on top of the wooden base.

Here are the roosts on the inside of the cap. The nest boxes will be in the back under that window, so we can reach in to get the eggs.

We have the plywood around the sides, but we aren't sure how we want to build the door in the front.

We plan to put four wheels on the base so we can move it, because the cap is kinda heavy. For nest boxes, I thought some milk crates that we picked up on freecycle would work, mounted under that rear window.  Does anyone have any objections to that idea?  Also we aren’t sure how we want to build the chicken door in the front panel.  I would like to have a horizontal door that folds down to make a little exit ramp, but I’d also like to be able to shut and lock it from out side the run, which we haven’t built yet. Run is going to be detachable with small wheels, and slip over the end of the coop with the window.  To facilitate feeding, watering, and moving, the idea is to lock the chicken in the cap at night and then in the morning, detach the run, move  the cap to a new spot of pasture,  open the cap window and refill the water and feeder, close the window, and then re-attach the run, and then open the horizontal chicken door to give them access to the run.  I’d like to have the cap coop to be predator proof enough to be usable without the run, if I need to isolate a bird, or  raise some young birds separate from the rest of the flock.

Any feed back, comments, questions, advice or suggestions are welcome!

QH