September 23

9 DIY Free Chicken Tractor Plans Anyone Can Build

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We have covered several chicken coop plans on our website and there are many more that we haven’t covered yet. A chicken tractor is one of them. If you are looking for a flexible option to house your birds that you can move at any time, this is it. It has the same benefits of a stationary coop but you also have the benefit of being able to move it anywhere you want.


Let’s take an in-depth look into how you can make this for yourself and do it right because this thing will serve you for years to come.


The basic idea of any chicken coop is to give your chickens a place that is safe from predators and from the changing weather. It also encourage laying as many eggs as they can. But with a chicken tractor, since it is portable, you are able to move it to a new location with relative ease.


But there are 5 different types of chicken tractors that you can choose from based on your needs and how often do you plan on moving these.


Types of Chicken Tractor Plans

  • Traditional Chicken Tractors

  • Affordable Chicken Tractors

  • Unique Chicken Tractors

  • Hoop Style Chicken Tractors

  • Upcycled Chicken Tractors

Before we get into about differences between these tractor plans let’s first look into the basic things that differentiate these plans and the things we are looking for in each of them.

Mobility Is Important

This is the main thing we are looking for right now. Being able to move your chickens is a huge benefit not only for you but for them as well. If these birds are left in their own manure for a long time without cleaning it up, it will start to cause diseases, attract pests and also cause parasites and worms. We don’t want that.

So if we are able to move them to a new grass on a regular basis, they will be able to enrich their diets with more nutrients and also be able to nourish the soil with their droppings.


That’s one of the big benefits of a chicken tractor – you don’t have to clean up the droppings. Because they have an open bottom, you can just move the coop and let the manure nourish the soil. Saving you money by not having to buy artificial fertilizer.


There’s one caveat though. Because these chicken tractors have an open bottom, they don’t offer much protection against predators that can burrow and dig under the soil and enter the coop. Animals like weasels and even some rats are known to do that.


So you want to make sure that your chicken tractor coop is big enough or has a longer brooder compared to the one you’d have in a traditional chicken coop.


One last thing before we move on – make sure that the chicken tractor is not too heavy. The idea here is portability and so if the tractor is too heavy to move, it defeats the whole purpose of it.

Different Chicken Tractor Designs

There are 2 basic design differences between chicken tractors – open and closed.

1

Open Tractors

Open tractors usually have a door that you can open and close just like a normal coop. This will give your chickens more room to move and to hunt. This sounds like a good thing to have but you have to keep in mind that open tractors will need to be inside another enclosure that allows the chickens to roam in.

2

Closed Tractors

These are the opposite of open tractors. They don’t have a door and this will be the only area where the chickens will be able to roam in. If you go for the a closed tractor make sure that the top part of the tractor is partly covered with mesh to facilitate more airflow and also let the sunlight to warm up the coop enough during winter months.


I do agree that having to move your chickens rotate at regular intervals is a bit more time intensive compared to a stationary coop, but if you do it right, it will benefit your chickens a lot. Plus, you also get free fertilizer for your yard to grow anything you want.

Traditional Mobile Chicken Coop Plans

Chicken Tractor With Roost Bar

These are several traditional tractor plans you can check out on Instructables for free. This one is perfect for a small number of chickens. If you are planning to have 20-40 chickens in this coop, you should look at some other options. Ideally though, if you are planning on having that many chickens, it’s just best to have a stationary coop.

This one is the classic rectangular design with a roost bar. And you also get video instructions that you can follow along which is neat!

Joel Salatin’s Chicken Tractor Plan

Joel Salatin is famous for his farming techniques and he is also an author. He came up with the idea for this plan. Now there are many versions of it, but I think this one is pretty simple and easy to follow. And right now, we are only looking for something that offer the portability we are looking for while still being able to keep things simple.

Enclosed Chicken Tractor

This one is the traditional chicken tractor. The student intern that came up with this plan recommends that the front cage area should be as high as the upper edge of the roof. If it isn’t that high then you will have to bend down to care for your chickens which would make it harder for you.

Besides that, everything else is simple and easy to follow.

High Mobility Chicken Tractor Plan

This is an interesting one because you can just pick it up and move it anywhere you want. It has a closed bottom so you don’t have to worry about pests and mice coming into your coop. Most tractors will require at least 2 people to move it, but for this one just one person can move it pretty easily.


I know this looks pretty complicated but once you start following the plan, you’ll realize that it’s pretty simple. Follow the illustrated images and you’ll have the finished product in no time.

Affordable Chicken Tractors

Affordable Tractor Plans

This one is pretty easy and affordable to build. If you’re looking for something that won’t take a long time to build, and it is light on the wallet, check out these plans. I think you’ll love it.

Chicken Tractor Built With a PVC Pipe

This is a unique one because the main structure is built with PVC pipes. I know it doesn’t look like the most glamorous thing out there. And it certainly does not stand up to some of the beautiful chicken coops we see on Pinterest, but it gets the job done.


And if you’re someone like me who just wanted to get the ball rolling and improve things as you get along, this is a great starting point. Check it out.

Unique Chicken Tractors

Shed Style Chicken Tractor

This is a pretty unique design because not only is the whole thing sufficiently above the ground, it also has wheels for easy mobility. This is perfect for someone who doesn’t have a lot of room in their backyard.


This might be a bit more on the complicated side but you should be able to build this one as well. All the plans that I list here are pretty easy build and if I can build it, then you can too.


I’m only choosing plans that I think I’d be able to build over the weekend. Preferably in under a day.

Hoop Style Chicken Tractors

Wire Chicken Tractor Plans – Hoop Style

This is an interesting design and it also gets the job done. The best part – you can finish making this thing in just a couple of hours if you have help from your friends.


And you also get a good amount of ventilation with this one because it is fully open really. You can cover some areas by just putting a piece of clothing on the roof like they did in the picture.


This is a perfect chicken tractor coop for summer time when ventilation is absolutely needed to avoid your chickens getting stressed out because of the heat.

Upcycled Chicken Tractors

Couch Chicken Tractor Plan

This is an interesting and a resourceful plan. For this one you’ll need a used couch. You can try to get it for free if any of your neighbors are looking to get rid of theirs. Or you can go on Craigslist and see if you can find one for cheap.


Quick tip: visit your local Goodwill and see if you are able to find a cheap couch before looking at Craigslist for options. You might be able to find a nice deal at Goodwill.


Anyway, you will be upcycling this couch and turn it into a chicken tractor. It’s pretty easy to do and it also looks like a goal post. So be careful if you have any kids that are soccer enthusiasts in your area. You don’t want them to attempt any shots at this coop.


In the picture you’ll notice that they are using skis as a moving mechanism. I personally would have just installed some wheels on there. But that’s up to you whether you want wheels or skis. Either of them will be fine and help you with mobility.


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