Help figure this coop out???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by minnikin1, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. minnikin1

    minnikin1 Shepherd

    Feb 3, 2003
    Central NY
    Have you seen this small chicken tractor - it was in either Paul Heiney's or John Seymour's book, I can't remember which one.

    It was a miniature hoop house, probably just 2 1/2 feet tall or so. One end was covered with chicken wire, one end was shaded/enclosed. (In the book they covered that end with old feed sacks.)

    This little thing looked great for pasturing a pair or trio of birds or a quarantine area, or just for a hen and youngsters...or even bunnies.
    But there were no instructions in the book for how to make one and I'm so frustrated! I need 2 or 3 three of these!

    Any right-brainers out there who can look at the finished product and
    translate it into a how-to?
    Our feed sacks are paper, so they wouldn't work like those shown in the pic. I'd have to cover with some other fabric or tarp, not sure what.
    And I'm not sure how to build the frame.
    A hoop house of this tiny size, made of PVC, would probably be feather lite and blow away in the slightest gust...
    I suppose I could use saplings, but how would you join the parts? Tie? Nail?

    Would you put a wire "floor" in?
    Ideas for a door?
  2. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 23, 2003
    I wouldn't use chicken wire, I'd use something like fence wire or perhaps even hardware cloth. No need for hoops with those fence wire or hardware cloth, just curl it over.

    Old cloth bedsheets would make a fine shadecloth.

    Wooden scrap 2x4's or the like for the bottom frame to attach the fence wire or hardware cloth to. Just make a square or rectangle, sized to match the fence wire.

    Some scrap rods, or even sections of rebar hammered into the ground hill hold the unit down. You can wire to the rebar, or drill a few holes in the wooden frame and drive the rebar straight through it.

  3. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2004
    I agree -- the simplest way to make one would be just to bend hardware cloth. Cut a half-circle for the ends, and tie a small tarp over the end that needs to be shaded. You could use J-clips (used for manufacturing bunny cages) to hold the ends on -- hinge one end, and put a latch on so you can use it for a door, if you need one. Or have a door in the top, near the middle. That would probably work better. If the tractor is very long, you might need to tie it together in the middle with a piece of wire, so the sides don't bow out.

  4. tinknal

    tinknal Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 21, 2004
    Just remember, if it has 4 doors, it is not a chicken coop, it is a chicken sedan...........
  5. tamatik

    tamatik Well-Known Member

    Jan 2, 2006
    massey ont
    sounds like the one I made in Manitoba.It was just 2 poles?laid down with a couple boards nailed across.That was the floor.At one end the boards were close together so it was the feed floor.the rest was open so they could get the grass.Over this was about 3or4 pieces of black 1,1/2" pipe pvc?.Mine was about 3ft tall and covered with chicken wire.The whole thing was about 6ft long and 3 ft wide.Then it was covered with chicken wire and a small tarp over the feed area.We let some of shutins use it so they had a bit of freedom.We also used it to segregate a mean duck.Duck prison.
  6. Cara

    Cara Well-Known Member

    May 9, 2002
    It was in John Seymour's book, and he used basically sticks. A friend has the book right now, but I can see it in my head. It was a frame made of sticks bent into arches and wired to bottom sticks. Next they covered the whole thing with chicken wire. Then they put feed sacks over the one end, wired or twined down. One end (the covered one, I believe) opened up to put in feed and water and gather eggs. What I don't remember is what they had in there for a roost bar. I'm sure it was something like another stick, but I don't know how it was mounted. If it's small enough, I would say you could cover the end with your paper feed sacks, then a large garbage bag split down the sides....the thing in the book was very small, I would think around 2 feet tall and 5-6 feet long. Hope that helps!

    It doesn't have a bottom....I just reread your questions. :)
  7. Big Dave

    Big Dave Well-Known Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    West Central Arkansas
    Omlet USA is a site that has pictures of the chicken tractor you are looking to build. You can use it for rabbits as well. Hope you read this