Sunday, March 22, 2009
Our chickens have been showing a lot of interest in the green stuff growing outside their pen. During the winter months, we let them roam around the yard regularly, but now that there are vegetables coming up in the garden, we can't do that. So we built a rudimentary chicken tractor to give them access to forage without giving them access to our lettuce.
The tractor was built entirely out of used materials, with the exception of the bolts.
6 cedar slats salvaged from broken bed frame
4 2x4s, pre-cut, found neglected on the side of the house
random scrap of plywood
brackets found in dumpster of Southwestern interior decor store
chicken wire from our housemate's 2008 vegetable garden (from previous house)
staple gun, bolts, hinges, and hangers
We bolted the frame together in an hour or less. The chicken wire installation was a more laborious process. We stapled it to the 2x4s, but couldn't get staples into the cedar slats, so we had to wrap the chicken wire around and then weave the wire into itself. Because the salvaged chicken wire was narrow, it took 2 lengths to cover the sides. To attach the two lengths to each other, we used yet more of the hangers (of the box o' hangers from previous posts). We cut off the hooks, straightened them out, and used them to "sew" the chicken wire together.
The chickens seem to really dig their new playpen. We hope it will help keep our "lawn" of weeds mowed and help supplement the chickens' diet.