Dateline: 10 September 2016 AD
Scott Cooper in West Virginia sent me the above picture a few days ago. It's a chicken tractor he made after being inspired by John Suscovich and His Nifty Chicken Tractors.
That is a fine looking piece of homestead equipment, and the neat thing about it is that Scott made it with the intention of using it for other things when it isn't a chicken tractor. It could be a chicken brooder, or a greenhouse, or a crop drying shed (onions and garlic).
At 8' x 12', with a door on each end, I could envision actually living fairly comfortably (with a few modifications) in such a structure for a summer if the need arose. I say that after living in a 2-man backpacker's tent for the summer of 1977.
Here are some construction notes from Scott...
I used half-lap joints like John Suscovich does. I glued and screwed them and they are remarkably strong. It's 8' x 12' because I wanted to raise 40+ chickens but didn't want to build two. To keep the weight down, I used standard 2x3's, rather than pressure treated 2x4's, hence the reason it's painted. It's plenty strong and I used corner bracing, gussets, and a few other techniques to reinforce where needed. If you look closely, you can see that it's mostly assembled with galvanized bolts, which is how I'm able to disassemble it for storage/transport so easily. Just a guess but I think I could get 3 of these on a 4' x 8' trailer. There are a few minor things I'll do differently the next time around. The design started with my "multi-use" goals and rough sketches over the winter but It very much evolved as I built it. I'm very happy with how it turned out, especially considering my first attempt at a something like this was a PVC brooding pen that was a complete disaster.
Nice job, Scott! Thanks for sharing your pictures and details with me and the rest of the world here.