Chickens & Poultry

Posted on: March 13th, 2013 by

Breeds Currently Available From LFF

See the For Sale page for ordering or follow the links in the description

Shipping only to the continental US

Direct orders are check or money order mailed in to LFF, Ebay and Amazon prices are higher as there are fees associated with selling on those platforms.

Ayam Cemani Chickens

Ayam Cemani Chickens

Ayam Cemani Chicks

Ayam Cemani Chicks

Ayam Cemani Plucked Whole Chicken

Ayam Cemani Plucked Whole Chicken

Ayam Cemani Chickens: This Indonesian breed of chicken is interesting  as they are all black. Their feathers do have a bit of a dark green sheen, especially roosters and their meat and bones are more of a dark grey. They seem to be as hardy as Rhode Island Reds and other domestic breeds although they are more wild in nature and skittish. I think they would make a good free range bird as they are more aware and much harder to catch than most domestic breeds. I have had several go broody. My stock has come from eight different breeders. They may not be show quality as I do get some with white toenails and rarely some white feathers. $30 for six fertile hatching eggs with priority shipping included for direct orders. LFF Ayam Cemani Eggs on Ebay. Due to limited availability I will not always have eggs listed on Ebay.

Bielefelder Rooster

Bielefelder Rooster

Bielefelder Eggs

Bielefelder Eggs

Bielefelder Chickens

Bielefelder Chickens

Bielefelder Chickens: Originally from Germany the Bielefelder chicken has some interesting attributes. From birth the chicks can be sexed, this characteristic is rare and is very beneficial. They are a hardy breed well suited to farm life and are very comparable to domestic breeds. $20 for six fertile hatching eggs with priority shipping included for direct orders. LFF Bielefelder eggs for sale on Ebay . Due to limited availability I will not always have eggs listed on Ebay.

Easter Egger Rooster

Easter Egger Rooster

Easter Egger Chick

Easter Egger Chick

Easter Eggers/Americauna Chickens. The stand out attribute for this breed is the color of the eggs. From light blue to olive and many shades in between. A good hardy breed. I have noticed that the Americauna scratches the ground more than most domestic chicken breeds. I use this breed in my chicken cultivator tractors for this reason. This breed of chicken was originally from Chile. Fertile hatching eggs are available for $18 for six with priority shipping included for direct orders. LFF Easter Egger Hatching Eggs For Sale on Ebay. Due to limited availability I will not always have eggs listed on Ebay.

Pharoah, Lewis Mix Rooster

Pharoah IV, Lewis Mix Rooster

Our Chickens

Mother Hen & Chicks

Lewis Mix: How about a lineage of chickens that we have had longer than the farm. Dating back over a decade we have raised these mixed breed chickens for years. Culled for hardiness and ability to feed themselves. During the last several years we have also started selecting for broodiness. Our current flock of mixes has either been a broody mom or been raised by a broody mom. One hen even raised three groups of chicks last year. 12 fertile hatching eggs are available for $20 with priority shipping included for direct orders. LFF Lewis Mix Hatching Eggs For Sale on Ebay. Will not always have a listing on Ebay due to various demands.

Our Philosophy on Chickens

All the different breeds of chickens we offer live on a working farm setting. We do not pamper, purify or coddle them. They make it on the farm or they leave. We offer them all the food they can eat but select for those with the ambition to gather their own. We select for tough breeds that while often uncommon will do fine in the real world. We make use of chicken tractors and the chickens are often allowed to free range with no confinement. We cull to select the best for our real farm environment.

The Missing Hen

 

Chickens are the gateway animal to homesteading. I am sure you have heard the parable of the goose who laid the golden egg, well nothing comes as close to that as a chicken.

It is easy and inexpensive to get started with a small flock of chickens to provide all your families eggs as well as a few to share or sell. Every spring and often in the fall many local farm stores get chicks for around $3 each. In several DSCF3884months your chickens will begin to lay eggs.

In my opinion no other farm critter is easier to begin with than a chicken. Chickens are widely available at a low cost and their feed is inexpensive. Chickens will also gladly dispose of your table scraps and return you eggs for payment. Chickens are easy to house and care for. Chickens can be kept on a small plot of land and even in many cities. Why isn’t a chicken in every backyard?

DSCF3898On average my mature hens lay an egg every 2 days or less excluding winter. Doing a conservative estimate my hens will lay their own body weight in eggs within several months (96 days +/-). That is a pretty good return on your investment if you ask me.

We try to give our chickens the best life a chicken could hope for. Most days are chickens are allowed to run free. To protect them from predators we depend on a good guard dog, and some Chickens Early Spring 2013electric fence at times. The chickens are able to go under the fence, but if they need to retreat back the fence is a formidable barrier to predators.

A good guard dog is invaluable when keeping chickens. We are currently relying on a Golden Retriever for this job. In the past we have used Mastiffs, which are my personal favorite.

Jade & MaxThe chicken tractors are often in a paddock with the cattle. This helps keep the insect population down that is attracted by the cattle. This gives the chickens a good smorgasbord of insects. The chickens can leave the paddock anytime they want to range the property.

Our chickens are a mix of heritage breeds. We have been mixing breeds for well over a decade, making a good mutt chicken. Excluding our mutts we have found the Buff Orpingtons to be the closest to an ideal breed for us. We have a little of everything mixed in, and try something new every year.Fuji S1000FD 057

We have come up with what we believe is a great way to keep chickens.  We use large chicken tractors that we build to our own needs. We make them from PVC pipe and Poly Sheets. This was our original design below.

 

IM000047.JPGIM000046.JPG

It worked well and was the perfect weight, light enough to move and yet heavy enough to stop predators from going under. It cost about $170 or so dollars with all new materials.Ebay 050 Of course with continuing inflation it will cost more now.

The original chicken tractor worked well, but there were a lot of improvements that could be made. We kept a mental list of all improvements needed for the future tractor. The Original PVC Chicken tractor is still being used on our farm. It has been christened the Old World.

DSCF4688

Original Style PVC Chicken Tractor in Front Ultimate Style PVC Chicken Tractor in Back

Enter what I consider the ultimate chicken tractor. Again it is built with a frame of PVC pipe. This time we used conduit to be more UV resistant.

 

100_0583

Ultimate PVC Chicken Tractor

Image09092012184155

Ultimate PVC Chicken Tractor

Image09092012184220

Ultimate PVC Chicken Tractor

 

Here Is a link to my Youtube video overview of my chicken tractor:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxNfbjwO6YI

We built the chicken tractor with the idea of easy maintenance and ease of daily chores.

Feed Bowl Shelf

Feed Bowl Shelf

The feed bowls can be accessed from the outside by a door. They are fenced in so the chickens can only get their heads to the bowls, not their butts. This keeps the bowls nice and clean. The bowls stay where they are put, we no longer have to go to the back of the coop to get them. You can easily top up the feed bowls without chickens making a break for it. They set on a screened platform off the ground, that way when you move the coop the feed bowls move with it. We also have a small door across from the feed bowls that directly accesses the run. We use this to throw scraps into the run. This door is also handy if you want to put a chicken back into the coop without opening the big door.We have four nest boxes going down each side of the coop that are made from four gallon buckets. That gives us 8 nest boxes, more than is needed really. They are easily accessed from the outside by a door along the whole side of the coop. The door makes the back of the nest box when closed. Cleaning out the nest boxes is easy, open the door and you can scrape everything out the back.

100_0409100_0408

We built a large door along the back for easy access inside the coop for thorough cleaning or in the event we need access to the inside of the coop.  We made a large window on the front top of the coop. We can see the nest boxes and check on the flock through the front window without having to disturb them. We used heavy poly sheets for siding on the rest of the coop.

For water we designed our own automatic bucket watering system using a four gallon bucket, chicken water nipples, 1/4 poly hose, brass fittings and a toilet valve. It will stay full automatically using an outside spigot or connected to a garden hose. The 1/4″ hose is easy to run down the electric fence we use for cattle paddocks. If you get a hole in the 1/4″ line you will not lose near the amount of water you would if it were a larger hose. The 1/4″ line is much cheaper Chicken Waterer Bucket 1/4" Hose to garden hosethan garden hose, and easier to move around. This is the best water system I have seen. It is always clean and full. The chickens figured out how to drink from the nipples instantly. In the future I plan on doing a video on how to build these watering buckets.

Chicken Waterer II Inside Chicken Waterer II

 

In case you should have a leak in the 1/4″ line it is very easy to splice with the push in splices. I always keep several on hand as the line gets damaged sometimes.

1/4" Push In Splice

1/4″ Push In Splice

 

If you are interested in building a similar tractor I have a rough list of materials. These were collected after the fact, so it is just an estimate. I will be building another one this year and I will keep better track of the materials used this time.

The frame is 2″ conduit, I recommend conduit instead of plumbing PVC pipe as the conduit is treated to resist UV degradation.

2" Conduit10x 10′ 2″ sticks of conduit

 

 

 

 

 

2" 3-Way

2″ 3-Way

11x 2″ Three ways

 

 

 

 

 

2" PVC 3-Way Corner

2″ PVC 3-Way Corner

4x 2″ Three way corner, special order

 

 

 

 

 

2" PVC 4-Way

2″ PVC 4-Way

6x Four way, special order, or 8x depending on your design

 

 

 

 

 

 

2" PVC Elbow

2″ PVC Elbow

 

4x 2″ Elbows

 

 

 

 

 

The hoops and doors are made from 1/2″ conduit.

1/2" Conduit11x 10′ 1/2″ sticks of conduit

 

 

 

 

 

1/2" PVC Elbow

1/2″ PVC Elbow

20x 1/2″ elbows

 

 

 

 

 

1/2" PVC 3-Way

1/2″ PVC 3-Way

3x 1/2″ three ways

 

 

 

 

 

 

1/2" PVC 4-Way Cross

1/2″ PVC 4-Way Cross

5x 1/2″ four way crosses

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 sheets of 4×8 siding or preferably heavy plastic for the doors
3 sheets of 4×8 heavy vinyl
1 8′ corrugated plastic window

I also used three handles, 13 hinges, 9 hook and eyes, 10 eyes and 6 carabiner clips. The front pull rope is used baling twine that I braided into rope. I also used baling twine to tie all the car clips to the cage so they don’t get lost. The chicken wire is held to the main frame with nylon wire holders and we use self tapping screws to mount those to the PVC. The vinyl sheets are screwed to the PVC with self tapping screws. We use zip ties to hold the chicken wire to the hoops. I used a heavy pipe that had lawnmower wheel lugs welded to the end for the axle. I used a larger piece of roofing so that there was an overhang on the edges. I think that is everything, I may be off slightly but it will be close.

Where one section of chicken wire meets another we use hog rings to join the sections. We did this because if a large dog attacks the cage and manages to break a hoop the dog will still have to get through the chicken wire. We did this after a Great Dane attacked our tractor one time and broke two hoops. He was able to enter the cage between the sections of chicken wire and we lost 9 chickens.

Hog Ring

Hog Ring

 

To get the special fittings you will probably have to order them from the Internet. Below is a list of suppliers, I bought mine from the first link, they are the manufacturer and you have to order four boxes, but it is the cheapest source.

Snap Clamp Supplier Special PVC Fittings

List Of Suppliers from PVCPlans.com

Greenhouse Megastore

Building the tractor is straightforward. The conduit that we buy comes with one end belled to fit over another piece, we cut the bell off. In our area Menards has the best price on PVC and fittings. The sticks of PVC are 10′ long. The main frame is made of 2″ PVC. The width is half a stick (5′). The open run is one stick long (10′). The coop is 5′ wide and 4′ long. We made it 4′ long in order to get the best use of materials that come in 4’x8′ sheets.

The hoops are made of 1/2″ PVC. We cut the 1/2″ sticks in half. At the top of the run we connect the 1/2″ sticks to crosses so we can run a backbone of 1/2″ down the top of the hoops for strength and to keep the hoops evenly spaced. We 1 1/4" Elbow Framework Holeuse a paddle bit to drill holes into the 2″ main frame to slide the 1/2″ hoops into. The 1/2″ PVC has to be bent carefully into place as they take a lot of stress being bent into hoops. The chicken wire going over the top of the hoops prevents the ends of the hoops from coming out of the 2″ frame.

Backbone of Hoops

Backbone of Hoops

The food bowl shelf is made of 1/2″ PVC and chicken wire. The shelf is connected to the main frame on one edge, the other inner edge has pipe running up from it to connect to the hoops to suspend the shelf. A hole is drilled to slide wire through the end and over through the hoop to hold the shelf up. We then wrap the fence wire over the shelf area.

The coop has a frame of 2″ PVC. The vinyl exterior siding is screwed to the 2″ PVC frame using self taping screws. Inside the coop there are a couple of PVC pipe perches that help the chickens get up to the nest boxes along the sides and give them a place to roost. The run is attached to the coop with wire holders and self tapping screws. The top backbone of the run goes into the top perch that is built into the frame of the coop. We drilled a hole throughchicken Tractor Run Attachment both pieces of pipe and put a wire through them, that way the top backbone pipe cannot be pulled away from the coop.

Siding Screwed to Frame

Siding Screwed to Frame

 

 

 

 

When making a doorway like the front door or the feed doors we make a triangle from unused pieces of vinyl sheeting to place in the corners of the door frames. This prevents the door from swinging into the run and makes everything stronger.

Door Corner Support

Door Corner Support

Door Support

Door Support

The few improvements I will be making on the new tractor for this year will be:

1: The side doors will open like barn doors instead of dropping down. This will facilitate cleaning the nest boxes as everything can be scraped right out the back of the nest bucket. This was actually how we planned it originally, but we took a shortcut.

 

2: It will have bigger tires. The one down side to this coop is its weight. On solid ground it is easy to move around, but if its muddy or on rough ground the going gets tough.

 

This year we will have to invest in a better incubator. In the past we have used a Little Giant Incubator. Lately we have not had very good luck with this incubator and the time has come to get a better designed unit.

We will be building a brooder out of the original PVC chicken tractor this year, but until then we have had excellent results using a truck camper shell we had lying around. It has side windows that DSCF2085can be adjusted to give the right ventilation and has kept the chicks warm to well below freezing.

 

 GARDENING WITH CHICKENS / FARMING WITH CHICKENS

Chickens are also useful in another way, they can be put to work. Why have your chickens setting around just providing eggs and meat when they could also be used to prepare garden plots and cultivate between the rows of your garden or small fields.

Before Chicken Powered Cultivation

Before Chicken Powered Cultivation

Chicken Powered Cultivation

Chicken Powered Cultivation

Chickens by nature like to turn and dig soil. If you park your chicken tractor in one area too long the chickens will scorch the earth denuding it of vegetation. You can use this to your advantage in preparing a garden bed. If you cover the scorched area with some mulch you have a good start to a garden without even turning the ground.

Chicken Tractor Row Cultivator

Chicken Tractor Row Cultivator

When you use a chicken tractor to prepare garden beds you also get the area debugged and fertilized. It is a good low impact way of prepping a garden area. I then cover the area with several layers of newspaper and mulch. In my area almost every city has free wood mulch and I haul it home by the truck load.

Another good use of chickens is to control weeds between the rows in a custom built PVC chicken tractor cultivator. DSCF4780Since my planter is set on 30″ rows I made my cultivator 27″ wide and 10′ long. Not only do the chickens cultivate between the rows for you they also control insects and give you a side dressing of fertilizer.

If you have chickens their really is no need of a compost pile. My food scraps go to the chickens, who compost it for me. It gives the chickens a better diet, and decreases my work. The only scraps I don’t give my chickens are chicken meat and scraps which go to the dog. I don’t think it is right to feed chickens chicken.

 

 

81 Responses to Chickens & Poultry

  1. William had this to say about that:

    Your chicken tractor is great! I am starting on my own now and have a few questions. How are you joining the half inch ribs to the main frame? Drilling holes, or using fittings(2x2x1/2 Tees)? What is the LxWxH of the tractor? What is the length of half inch for the ribs? How are you attaching the fenced food area to the main frame and ribs?
    Thank you for your time and help.
    William

    • JL had this to say about that:

      I have sent you an email answering your questions, I have also added more information about building the chicken tractor on the chicken page. Thanks,

  2. Jeff Hunter had this to say about that:

    Hey there
    Really enjoyed your video, was the first I found that had what I was looking for. Can you send me a copy of the email sent earlier, with demensions of the coop. We will build the first as you have and then plan to build just the run part to move from row to row in our planting area. about 250 ft. has anyone else tried this? We have to resort to this because of the hawk pop around us, and are hoping to slow the johnson grass growth as well. We are just outside of Liberty Mo.. Thanks again for the great ideas!!!

  3. Jeff Hunter had this to say about that:

    working on building you model, want to build runs that I can place along my plant rows, got my pvc side outlets90* at plumbingsupply.com… for $3.46 and the side outlet t for $7.51, just wondered where you got yours and if price is about the same? Great inovations on the tractor. Thanks for sharing this… jeff hunter, liberty mo.. , Herbs and Hierlooms farm

  4. Daniel had this to say about that:

    I tried to do this yesterday and broke two 1/2inch crosses when trying to bend them over to fit into the other side of the frame. How do you do this without breaking them? Are your holes in the frame straight up or pointing toward the backbone slightly? I ended up just using elbows and making mind more of a rectangle instead of breaking more parts. Your ideas are awesome

    • JL had this to say about that:

      Sorry for the late reply, I have been busy. The holes on the frame are straight up. My wife helps me bend the hoops, one of us will be supporting the cross area and the other will bend the hoop. I broke a cross as well, but once the hoops are bent they are pretty solid. It is easier in warm weather, the PVC bends easier and is less likely to break. Good luck on your tractor and when you get it done I would love some pics. Thanks,

      -Joseph

  5. Jim B had this to say about that:

    Hello Joseph,

    Thank you for taking the time putting this site together. Can 1 – person move the tractor? I have a raised bed garden made with wide diameter telephone poles. Should I be able to pull the ultimate tractor up on the garden? What do you do about ventilation?

    Best Regards,

    Jim

    • JL had this to say about that:

      I have no problem moving the coop, if you are smaller it may e hard. I plan on using my tractor on my future raised beds. The roof and front window are corrugated and provide the correct amount of ventilation for my weather.

      -Joseph

  6. Jim B had this to say about that:

    Oh one more thing. What type of 4 X 8 vinyl sheets do you recommend? I found a local Co. that sells the pvc for making yard signs. It is corrugated, UV rated but not very strong.

    Thanks,
    Jim

    • JL had this to say about that:

      I use vinyl 4×8 sheets that are for bathroom walls. It is strong and light. In my area Menards and Lowes carries them.

      -Joseph

  7. Jim had this to say about that:

    Hello,
    I have been building a replica of your ‘Ultimate Chicken Tractor’. It is coming along nicely so far. I tried using mobile home under-skirting for the walls but have decided to return the uncut pieces to Lowes and use 3mm pvc foam board. The underskirting has ridges plus it has breather holes in it which will allow wind and rain into the coop. The pvc foam board is not the strongest and the UV rating is not that high but it is the best that I can find for the price ($26.00 per 4 X 8 sheet). I do not know if I will ever get a return on my investment but these chickens are somewhat like pets to us so we do not mind spending the money. If we ever get a nice garden going then we may realize a return. Thanks, Jim

    • JL had this to say about that:

      The best thing I have found for the siding is the vinyl sheets that are for bathroom walls. Lowes and Menards carry them and thet run around $15. Good luck with your tractor

      -Joseph

  8. Cheryl had this to say about that:

    HI there, I am attempting to build your chicken coop in south Africa. I can email the pics of the finished product if you would like to see it.

  9. Darin had this to say about that:

    I too, was hoping to find out the ground dimensions of your current design–coop and run seperate.

    • JL had this to say about that:

      Run is 10′ long and 5′ wide. Coop is 4′ long and 5′ wide. The peak of the roof is about 5′ tall.

      -Joseph

  10. Dana Betti had this to say about that:

    Wow is all I can say this is so simplistic and light weight yet so beautifully complicated you’ve made adjustments for everything needed.I cant wait to attempt this.Thank you so much for sharing this maser piece. If you got together a better list of supply’s I would appreciate if you sent me some if not that’s okay take your time, i’ll wing it.

    • JL had this to say about that:

      I have not had time to build another yet, but will when I complete the move. Good luck with your chicken tractor. Thanks,

      -Joseph

  11. Tonya Shaw had this to say about that:

    I am very interested in your chicken tractor. I am a beginner at raising chickens and building things. But I am in dire need of a portable pen and coop. I have been looking at your website and trying to figure out the lay out of everything but I am having trouble. Do you have other angles, other directions, that I can get from you? I seen where you were going to build another one this year maybe you have more details in it. I am so sorry for the aggravation I am intrigued and desperate. Thank you for your time. Tonya Shaw

  12. Jim B. had this to say about that:

    Hello, Will the watering nipples work if mounted horizontally in the side of the bucket?
    Thanks,
    Jim
    PS My ultimate is working pretty good. Thanks for all of the help.

    • JL had this to say about that:

      They are only designed to be used vertically. If mounted horizontally they would leak.

      Send me some pics of your Chicken Tractor Jim. Thanks,

      -JL

  13. Tonya Faulkner had this to say about that:

    Love The Chicken Tractor. We Are In The Process Of Building One. Will Send Pics. Where Do You Get The Vinyl Sheets? We Are In N.C.

    I Have No Clue Where To Get That Or What To Put On The Outside If I Can’t Find That.

    Thank You,
    Tonya

    • JL had this to say about that:

      Thanks, I use bathroom wall 4’x8′ vinyl sheets. In my area Menards and Lowes both carry them and they run about $15.

      -Joseph

  14. Andrea Sheinbein had this to say about that:

    Love your tractor. I will be trying to build one myself and am really hoping you will post good plans. I have one question–do the wheels keep the tractor off the ground? Doesn’t that allow critters (snakes, possums, etc.) to get in??? (Ok, that was two questions…!!)

    Thank you,
    Andrea

    • JL had this to say about that:

      Yes the wheels do keep the back off the ground an inch or two, but that isn’t bad considering regular chicken wire has 1″ holes. A snake could fit under, anything bigger would have to dig for awhile. I have not had anything dig under a chicken tractor, but I do have a guard dog.

      On a side note the average snake is in more danger from a full grown chicken, then the chicken is from a snake. Chickens will eat snakes.

      -Joseph

  15. lora had this to say about that:

    How do you keep water from freezing in the winter?
    LOVE your coop. Very similar to one I built of wood so will try it with PVC.
    Do you include a dust bath for them somehow to try to prevent mites?

    • JL had this to say about that:

      Thanks, when it stays freezing consistently I water the chickens with a rubber bowl. My chickens only stay locked up if I am planning on going to town, so they take dust baths in the driveway and shed. If you keep them locked up it would be a good idea to give them something to use as a dust bath area.

      -Joseph

  16. jeff had this to say about that:

    is there any way you could send me a list of all the material I need to build this coop,i love the design and any other info you could spare would be great thanks jeff 6c farms

  17. Dan had this to say about that:

    …just placed an order for a chicken bucket waterer. We’re giving it to my mom for her birthday! She and my dad are raising meat birds this year. I’m excited to try it out.

  18. Jp had this to say about that:

    Found your youtube video first (chicken tractor). Really liked it, and very much like your kindness to show the how-to instead of just “I’ll sell you the plans”. Could you email the dimensions and estimated weight of the completed unit? Jp

    • JL had this to say about that:

      Thanks, I sent you an email JP. The chicken tractor is pretty heavy, I have no idea on the actual weight and I don’t have a good guess either.

      -Joseph

  19. Melanie Willhite had this to say about that:

    I am an engineer and love your chicken tractor design and am Going to build one for my sister for her birthday later this week. Might you be able to send me a few more pictures of your updated coops so I can get the design correct? I really appreciate your effort and time to put this out here for those of us trying to raise chicks for the first time. Thank you! I wish farmers branch would let me raise chickens!

    Melanie, farmers branch , Texas

  20. Anna S. had this to say about that:

    I am looking to start a flock of buff orpingtons on my farm and really love your ultimate chicken tractor design. Do you have an updated list of supplies by any chance? Any additional pictures or tips on building it? I am going to have about 15 hens and was also wondering how you might expand it or modify it to add more next boxes to account for the additional birds? Should I build two whole ones? Add a run to it? Thanks so much for your time, help, and expertise. It’s so helpful to read your stuff!
    Anna

  21. Owen had this to say about that:

    Did you use PVC cement on the crosses or any of the 1/2″ PVC connections?

  22. Steve had this to say about that:

    Like the design. With the top open, do the hens roost on the buckets and soil the bedding?

  23. Patrick had this to say about that:

    I am curious what the approximate dimensions for this coop? Length / width and height.

    Also what is the height of the rear coop… Thx for sharing looking forward to making my own.

    • JL had this to say about that:

      It is 5′ 5″ wide and 14′ long. The front is 3’11” tall and the back of the coop is 4’8″ tall.

      -Joseph

  24. Kris had this to say about that:

    Would you please send me more thorough designs through email? I’d love to make your tractor, but I’d like some more dimentions. Thanks so much! I watched your youtube video, and I’m pumped!

  25. james thames had this to say about that:

    is that 11 2″ 3 ways

  26. james thames had this to say about that:

    could you tell me how the door is attached and the size the frame and door is. thanks

  27. Dave Cahoon had this to say about that:

    Do you have other still shots or details on your chicken/egg tractor. My son wants to build one! What do you think of 5gal nest bkts?

  28. Dave Cahoon had this to say about that:

    Tankyou

    I, read the site and all is there.

    Thanks Again

  29. Ron had this to say about that:

    Where did you get your Four way? Did you special order them at Lowes or Home Depot?

    • JL had this to say about that:

      You can get the 1/2″ four way at Lowes and Menards, maybe Home Depot and others. The larger ones are special order only, the list of suppliers is here on the chicken page.

      -Joseph

  30. Ruth Foster had this to say about that:

    I saw that another builder just slipped a dolly (type for moving furniture)under one end of the coop and laid it down (lifts it 2-3″) then he lifted and pulled the coop from the other end to the new location. (no turns!) You may want to remove the heavy water bucket before moving the coop. The birds just walk along as you move the coop. He had several pens in a field and moved them daily, stimulating their appetites, more bugs to eat, fertilizing the field, never stripping an area.

  31. Stacye had this to say about that:

    This is exactly what I’m looking for but I will only have two backyard chickens, maybe 3-4 someday. Do you know of a place I might find a design for a smaller version of your tractor?

    • JL had this to say about that:

      Sorry I don’t have a good recommendation. For a small pvc tractor you might checkout my row crop cultivator tractor. I also have a post on building it. It is much smaller and would be good for several chickens.

  32. David Dunning had this to say about that:

    Good Day,

    I love your design of the Ultimate Chicken Tractor. I am about to embark on building my own. I have some ideas that I am going to work on incorporating including using old bike wheels to get a little more clearance and an easier roll. I will send you pictures.

    I was wondering about any additional plan pictures and such. I saw Tonya (7-25-13) and Anna (04/19/2014) had asked a similar question and based on your response thought you might have something you might be able to send easily to help me as I build. Pictures are especially helpful.

    Thank you for taking the time to put your ideas on line. Your experience will surely make my task much easier.

    David

    • JL had this to say about that:

      I would love pictures of you tractor, good luck with your build. I have posted about every picture I have of the ultimate on my site, you might check my post titled Ultimate PVC Chicken Tractor Questions answered for some design revisions I have added over the years.

      -Joseph

  33. Aaron Thomas had this to say about that:

    Do you have a sku# for Lowe’s vinyl sheet? It may be that here in NC they do not carry it.

  34. Alona Cayanan had this to say about that:

    Hi JL thanks for sharing your tractor design, I am hoping to build it this year. Yours is the best design I have ever seen. God Bless!

  35. Greg Fuess had this to say about that:

    Do you have an updated list of supplies by any chance? Any additional pictures or tips on building it? I have 6 hens. Thanks so much for your time, help, and expertise. It’s so helpful to read your stuff!

    • JL had this to say about that:

      Sorry best stuff I have is on the website, I have not built another Ultimate to document it yet and didn’t have a website when I built the first one.

  36. Alba had this to say about that:

    Hello,

    I love your Ultimate tracktor, thank you for sharing.

    What size buckets did you use? 5 gallon? Also is there a reason you decided to cover all four sides of the coop. I live in Florida and it is really hot here. I was thinking of leaving parts of the coop with netting for ventilation and extending the roof so that the rain could not be too much.

    • JL had this to say about that:

      I used four gallon buckets but five gallon ones would work just as well. I have started using four gallon square buckets that work great. I have all sides covered for shelter, Florida doesn’t have a winter like Missouri and it probably isn’t needed in your climate. Ventilation and shelter from rain are probably the most important design considerations in your climate.

  37. Michael had this to say about that:

    Hi
    This is brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing!
    I’ve finally talked my wife into chickens now our kids are old enough to help out and get something out of it so the original design is next on my project list!
    Can I ask what size of coop you would recommend for, say 3-5 birds, as your 5’x4′ seems to house a lot more. I live in Northern Ireland by the way.
    Thanks, M

    • JL had this to say about that:

      If you don’t have a lot of predator problems you could get by with a small tractor like an adaptation of my cultivator tractor. The cultivator tractors are 24″x10′ and I usually house 4 birds in one.

  38. Neil Long had this to say about that:

    Thanks for the videos/website and giving all of your knowledge! The only question I have is how many chickens will this size tractor hold? I’ve seen figures that are all over the place on sq ft per bird.

    • JL had this to say about that:

      No problem. I think around 20+/- chickens in a larger tractor like the Ultimate is about right. I have packed mine with as many as 30 birds. It is roughly 5×15, so about 75 sq foot. You can go with a heavier population if you let them free range also.

  39. Richard Phillips had this to say about that:

    I am in the process of putting together a shopping list for the parts I will need to build your Chicken Tractor. I need to know what “wire holders” are and how they are used. Also, do you have an updated list of materials? We live in West Central Florida and I am wondering if we need to do anything different because of the heat down here. My wife wants to put about 8-10 Rhode Island Reds in the tractor when it is complete. We have a coyote problem in our area, so I am also going to incorporate a solar electric fence which will be connected to the Tractor and will move with it.

    • JL had this to say about that:

      The list on my website is the best I have. Wire holders are used for holding wire and have a split design where the wire fits in the middle and has a hole to screw the holder to something. I use wire holders for securing the chicken wire to the pvc framework. Being in a almost always hot climate I would consider adding more ventilation to the coop and maybe shade cloth over the top of the run. When experiencing heavy predator problem you may consider hooking the fence charger directly to the chicken wire. I have done so to keep critters off a tractor, cows will scratch on a tractor unless they get a shocking experience doing so. Since the chicken wire doesn’t ground anywhere it can act like a electric net, protecting you flock.

  40. john cormier had this to say about that:

    This is the cats meow! I love it!
    I am going to try and build it!
    Love the idea of the buckets for nesting and the nipple buckets for water
    Is there anything you would have done differently? Have a Great Harvest oh yeah which breed of chickens should I get for big eggs and good mortality? thanks Rev John Cormier

    • JL had this to say about that:

      Thank you. You might want to checkout my post about questions on this tractor here: http://jlmissouri.com/2014/05/11/ultimate-pvc-chicken-tractor-questions-answered/

      To answer your question on chicken breed would be hard. Climate location and goals as well as personal taste have to be taken into consideration. There are tons of great breeds, my advise is to start with a common heritage breed in your area, for my are this would be Buff Orphingtons, Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks.

      -Joseph

  41. Diane had this to say about that:

    I just priced out the materials to build this at Home Depot and it was Over $200 just for the PVC and fittings and I had not added the wood/house materials or wire yet

    I am in New England where everything costs alot
    sigh

    • JL had this to say about that:

      Yeah it can get costly. You might build a simpler tractor unless you want the Cadillac. The original is much simpler and cheaper to build.

      -Joseph

  42. nanoo had this to say about that:

    It’s awesome to pay a visit this site and reading the views of all colleagues regarding
    this paragraph, while I am also keen of getting experience.

  43. FirstNickolas had this to say about that:

    I have noticed you don’t monetize your page, don’t waste your traffic, you can earn additional bucks
    every month because you’ve got hi quality content.
    If you want to know how to make extra $$$, search for:
    Mrdalekjd methods for $$$

Add Your Comment, Feedback or Opinion Here

Your email is safe here. It will not be published or shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*