So in addition to the chickshaw for the layers, we also built a Salatin style chicken tractor for our Freedom Ranger broilers. The tractor is a simple, bottomless frame that allows us to move the chickens to fresh grass once or twice a day.
Salatin's pens are 10 X 12 and he recommends using pressure treated lumber ripped and cut into the necessary sizes. We opted for cedar 1 X 4s and 1 X 2s to skirt around the pressure treated and threw a couple of 8 foot 2 X 4s on for added support. We also made our tractor 8 X 10 feet because we're putting only 50 birds in and it made it cheaper and lighter.
Some other changes we made were replacing the corrugated aluminum panels with white plastic ones. The aluminum was impossible to find in our area and the plastic seems to be holding up fine and provides adequate shade and protection for the birds.
We're using 8 inch steel lawn mower wheels to move the tractor. They're held on with a wing nut on a 1/2 inch carriage bolt. The wing nut allows us to remove the wheels and replace them pretty easily as needed. It's proving to be a decent system but the wheels do get caught up on uneven ground and lifting the corners to place the wheels on can be tricky if the frame is completely flush with the ground. Handles are in the future and slightly larger wheels will most likely be added to the duck tractor to try and remedy the terrain issue.
Birds enjoying the shade.
As we wait for our back-ordered bell drinkers we put together this 5 gallon bucket waterer. The bucket is bolted to the plastic tray through the bottom and I drilled two 1/4 inch holes about 1 1/2 inches up from the base of the bucket to allow the pan to fill. It's working ok for now but the bucket lid hasn't been holding the pressure one hundred percent and the water has been slowly draining throughout the day. Hopefully the bell drinkers will arrive this week so we can stop worrying.