Chicken tractors and hen houses come in a range of shapes and sizes, suitable for different numbers and sizes of chicken. If you’re just getting into keeping chickens, why not build a chicken tractor from a set of plans? They’re perfect for a small flock.
Chicken tractors (often called chicken arks in Europe), are simple and cheap to build and will keep a small flock of chickens protected from predators and harsh conditions. Best of all, because you can move chicken tractors around, your chickens get new areas of ground to peck and scratch. You get free-range chickens without having to catch them, or worry about predators such as stray raccoons, foxes or hawks.
Some good plans will ensure you get a chicken tractor design that works, and save you time, effort and frustration. You should be able to make one in less than a day, and may find you’ve already got at least some of the materials you’ll need.
A simple chicken tractor will house about four chickens, or up to six bantams, so you have enough space to keep a flock big enough to lay three to five eggs a day.
If you get the bug and want more chickens, or already have a bigger flock, you can still build a hen house from plans. In one kit, there are clearly laid out step-by-step plans for three complete chicken houses. There’s an easy-to-build hen house and a large chicken coop with run that has a pitched roof and external nest boxes.
You don’t need high-level woodworking or carpentry skills either, or a large number of tools, to build a chicken tractor or the other types of hen house, so this is a great way to keep your chicken-keeping budget down.
The chicken tractor design will also help stretch the budget as much of the chicken’s food and essential grit will come from the different ground they can peck and scratch as you move the tractor around. Kitchen scraps can make up much of the rest of their diet, so you will need only the minimum amount of layers’ pellets to ensure you get a really good supply of eggs.
If you’re just getting started, along with chicken coop plans, a simple book with all you need to know about keeping chickens will ensure you’ll be confident, your chickens will be well cared for and give you loads of eggs.