My old coop and flight cage was really showing some wear so I thought I’d try to build a chicken tractor before the old one failed altogether. My last attempt while structurally sound was so heavy and unwieldy as to be immovable.
So this time I decreased the lumber dimension to 2×2 while increasing the junction support size to stabilize the flex and torque encountered in motion. I also bought 24″ solid garden wheels as I had learned that the only thing harder to pull than a coop on 6″ inflatable tires is one on flat tires. The panels below the axel are hinged and swing up to give plenty of ground clearance for driving over rough terrain and are then staked in place for security. I installed 1/2″ hardware cloth for the first three feet then chicken wire above. Raccoons can reach through and grab an unsuspecting bird if the holes are big. The roof is a rag top of black/white plastic that keep the roost area dark and dry but doesn’t add the weight of plywood. The stairs allow the chickens to walk most of the way down in the morning and jump the rest of the way to the ground.
The chickens have been able to run free during the day and only use the coop at night so I may be parking the tractor under an oak tree for the summer months. When it’s used as a stationary coop I add worm compost boxes under the roost bars and besides raising worms for the birds to eat they eliminate the need to clean out the coop floor. On my last coop the worms were able to compost all of the droppings for over two years. I only had to water the boxes if they looked to dry.