We purchased our little chicks a few months ago and started Our Chicken Adventure. Since then they’ve been living in a homemade brooder located in the mudroom.
Chicks really don’t need much to thrive. The list of Everything You Need to Bring Chicks Home is quite short, but a coop quickly becomes a necessity as they age and grow!
Our chicks were long overdue for a proper home and after much research, we decided to build an A frame chicken tractor.
We like the idea of giving our hens as much free ranging capabilities as possible while still staying safe from predators. This design allows for both!
What is a Chicken Tractor?
A chicken tractor is a mobile version of a coop. It can be moved around so that the chickens have access to fresh grass, bugs, and grubs daily.
We based our design for this mobile coop off the A-Frame Chicken Tractor Build Plans by Green Willow Homestead. Kelsey has done a great job of providing step-by-step instructions for this build!
She offers the plans in three sizes: the mini, the medium, and the mega. Just choose your desired size based on how large your flock of hens is.
We chose to build a medium sized chicken tractor in case we expand our flock in the future.
Why We Chose This Design
Size: This chicken tractor can house all six of our chickens plus a few more if we want to add to our flock down the road. We didn’t want to go huge with it just in case we didn’t love the finished product, but we also wanted a little room for growth.
Mobility: We were drawn to the idea of free ranging chickens that could still be contained. A chicken tractor allows for just that. The tractor can be moved each day so the chickens don’t completely scratch up the ground and have plenty of grass and bugs to consume!
Safe From Predators: This design allows our hens to be on pasture without the danger of predators. We live in a remote area surrounded by forests and pasture ground, so this is a big must for our chicken coop!
Cleanliness: The bottom of the chicken house is wire. This means the chicken poo will fall onto the grass below while still keeping the chickens safe inside. There will still be messes to clean up, but hopefully less than we’d encounter with a standard coop.
Aesthetically Pleasing: I mean…I think it turned out pretty clean and tidy looking! I love things that are both functional and pretty.
Why We want a tractor instead of a stationary coop
Great for the Chickens: Chickens who are left in one area all the time, like in a stationary coop, will quickly peck up the grass and create a dusty spot. A chicken tractor allows the hens access to fresh grass and bugs at all times, but never leaves them in one spot long enough to strip it away.
Fertilization: All of the chicken poo will act as fertilizer for our yard and garden. Moving the tractor around ensures that one spot doesn’t get too much or much more than another area.
Our Thoughts After 3 Months of Use
We’re still really enjoying our choice in chicken coop design! After three months of use we’ve definitely discovered a few flaws, but for the most part we are very happy with our mobile chicken coop.
- Our chickens seem to love the daily exposure to fresh grass and grubs. They’ll pop out of the coop when we let them out and get right to pecking the new ground. It’s a lot of fun to watch!
- So far there has been no sign of any creature being able to get into this coop. It feels very secure!
- There is still plenty of room for more chickens! We currently house six of them, but I believe there is space for 10-12.
- We made the door into the coop a bit too small, so it’s very snug when stepping into the open area of the pen. We’d prefer to make it a bit larger if we could go back and do it all again.
- Despite being on wheels, this thing is still really heavy and can be difficult to move. My husband can do it without issue, but I on the other hand struggle with it quite a bit. I’m honestly not sure how we could make it lighter, so I’ll just have to figure out my own way of getting it moved if Jacob isn’t here.
- This project, like so many others, ended up being much more expensive than we anticipated. The initial trip for supplies was expected, but little ‘pick-ups’ here and there for other things added up quickly. I suggest taking a bit of time to set aside supplies or cash before jumping right into this because it will probably become more expensive than the plans suggest.
All in all we are pleased with our mobile chicken coop. And I think the chickens are as well! I am thoroughly enjoying having them out on the yard to observe as they peck around and explore. Their curiosity is amusing!