Chicken Tractor for Tractors

   #1  

Tractorable

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Marshall, Va
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1952 Ford 8n, saving up for a new Kubota or Yanmar
I wish to build an improved system for moving chicken tractors with a tractor:

Problem: Mobile chicken coops, aka chicken tractors, that are light enough to be moved by a person are too small for more than a few chickens and are difficult to move on slopes and/or rough terrain as found in most pastures. Chicken tractors that have good sized runs and are big enough for a person to enter are too heavy to be moved by a person.

Solution: Build a mechanism so that a chicken tractor can be hydraulically lifted on wheels and moved by a tractor.

After a lot of research I have not found a kit for sale that is heavy-duty enough to accomplish this. We found a kit with wheels on levers that we’re currently using, but it’s designed for a much lighter chicken tractor and the axles are bending under the weight. Plus, it takes a lot of leg muscle to press down the levers and wifey and retired neighbor can’t do it.

I thought it’d be cool to build a system using a tractors hydraulics (rear or front remotes) to actuate wheels that lifted the coop and allowed the coop to be towed to its new location with fresh grass for the chickens.

Here is our current setup. The ramp to the hen house folds up, the wheels are levered down, and we lift the front with a ball hitch on the 3pt.

Do you guys think it’d be possible to weld together a more robust system that could lift the coop with hydraulics in a similar way that larger bush hogs are lifted with their rear wheels? We’ll be getting a new tractor soon with front and rear hydraulics.

IMG_0099.JPG

Pom Pom inspecting busted wheel:

IMG_0186.JPG
 
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   #2  

Ritothebull

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Brooksville, Florida
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Massey 461 Massey 165 . KTM SDGT
Why don't you mount the hitch on the heavy end where the coop is and mount the wheels on the lighter end.
 
   #3  

countrybumpkin

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Of corse it’s possible to build it, just depends on how much money, time and parts you want to put into it.

You could just add heavier running gear, and use the 3 point to raise the end with the tires, so anyone can lower the running gear with the weight removed. Pull around to the other end and hook on like you do now. This would at least get you by till you get a new tractor with hydraulics.
 
   #4  

Diggin It

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LS MT125 TLBM
Why not just call it a trailer? Or why not mount the whole thing on a small, low utility trailer? Or cobble up a custom frame using trailer axles, wheels and a tongue?
 
   #5  

wagne223

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   #7  

tomplum

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Chicken tractors are fun build. A thousand different ways to build and move them. If you are getting a different tractor, ask yourself if you want the hassle of hooking it up to a three point complete or just to lift it via a hitch ball. Or even just forks of the front loader. You can weld up anything but as far as simplicity, a trailer mounted deal is hard to beat as pointed out.
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#8  
OP
T

Tractorable

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The problem with the trailer idea is that we can’t let the chickens free range like in the picture above because they get eaten by every predator around. With the chicken tractor, the bottom is open, and the hens get a 6’ x 10’ patch of grass to scratch and peck. Every few days we move it to a new patch, the chickens get fresh grass, and the grass gets to recover. We like it so much more than our other stationary coop because it doesn’t require much cleaning at all.

The new tractor will most likely be an L3560 and I’ll weld a receiver hitch to the bucket so I can use the ball hitch to move the chicken tractor. Once hooked in, it’s very easy to move around, just like a trailer.

I figured since I’m going to get rear remotes and a third function on the loader it’d be nifty to have the chicken tractor raise hydraulically, but perhaps just beefier components and a longer lever would make it easier to lift manually. The long hitch on the front is great because it allows the tractor to turn without the back tires hitting it.

Here’s what I got going after my girls:

IMG_7868.jpeg

IMG_0354.JPG
 
   #9  

mwayne

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North Texas
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Mahindra 2538
Rather than install hydraulics on the coop it might be easier to fix both ends to be lifted by the Ford. Lift one end first and allow gravity to lower the wheels into place and the lock with a pin. Then use the other end to move the coop.
 

Diggin It

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So, why not just use pallet forks? Rig the coop up to accept the forks, insert, lift, move and be done. Or rig it up to use the 3 point lif on the back of the tractor. No wheels involved in either.
 
 
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