Sunday, May 16, 2010

first draft: chicken tractor

A chicken tractor is a movable coop that is open to the ground.
This lets the chickens do a bit of "free ranging" on bugs and vegetation and retreat back upstairs to roost and nest.

Ours will be called The Chicken Hut, after the great fried chicken place that used to be SW of Coit/SpringValley. We loved the guy that ran it; it's a taqueria now.

This one is pretty normal, other than my shockingly poor carpentry skills. It was built mainly out of scrap and stuff people have given me over time. Still to do: back egg harvesting door and food/water provisioning door. Painting. Putting up the chicken wire. Setting up nest boxes. Luckily I have about 5 weeks before the birds are ready to move outdoors.

It is different in a couple of ways, mainly having to do with my concern about Texas heat.
  1. The area behind the nesting area will have a netted vent up high to let heat out and increase ventilation.
  2. 6" roof overhang on that end to keep weather out of the vent
  3. The insides of the roof are lined with some radiant barrier I inherited in a friend's move.
  4. More covered area to provide shade.
Hopefully these minor changes will minimized heat stress on the birds. My backyard is mostly shady but I still want to keep 'em as cool as possible.

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