Adding A Raised Feeder Area

Over the years the Lewis Family Farm has refined the chicken tractors used and has come up with several tips and tricks for useful things to incorporate into your chicken tractor design. One such thing is a raised and enclosed shelf for the feed bowls. The raised shelf will allow the feed bowls to move with the tractor when you move it to its new location. The fence around the feed bowls allows the chickens to stick their head in to get the feed but not their butt. Having an access door on the outside allows you to easily top up the feed. Keeping the chickens out of the feed means less waste and better hygiene.


You can also build a roof over the feeder area protecting it from rain. We don’t worry about a roof over the feeder area on our tractors. For the most part we feed whole grains and if they do get rained on we usually just dump them on the ground and let the chickens clean them up from there.

Two inch by three inch garden fence is used to enclose the feeder in. If you have a rooster with a big comb you will need to clip some of the wire so that you have a bigger opening. One idea for this is to clip every other one. While this works great for adult chickens small chicks can slip through the fence.


We’ve been very happy with this design and we’ve incorporated this into all our chicken tractors, even the small cultivator tractors have a raised feeder area. By incorporating this design you’ll never have to go to the back of the cage to retrieve feed bowls ever again. Your feed bowls will stay cleaner and you’ll have less wasted feed. You can see this, and other tractor design tips in the video below.

Building Cheap Chicken Tractors

Building a cheap chicken tractor doesn’t have to mean that it is flimsy or low quality. In many cases they can be built quite economically using recycled parts. An a frame design (so-called because of its triangular shape like an ‘A’) is probably the simplest tractor to build. The framing could be done with pieces of wood you have lying around or are able to re-use from an old fence, or pallets, or perhaps purchased cheaply from a builders yard or the classified ads of someone wanting their old shed torn down etc. There are many opportunities for free or cheap materials out there if you are on the lookout for them. Even when purchasing 2x4s for the job many find the total cost is often under $50 (depending on size) and cetainly under $100.

Many people just use chicken wire for the run part of an aframe but that is not really strong enough to withstand any serious attempts from predators to get in. The strongest wire is galvanised steel mesh with small holes (so nothing can reach in easily) such as hardwire cloth. You also want there to be an area for them which is totally covered even if your chickens are not going to be living in it over night – this is so that they can feel more secure and can go behind a wall if there is a predator on the other side of the wire, rather than be eyeball to eyeball with it. It also, perhaps more importantly, gives them some shelter from the wind and rain and somewhere to go that is shaded from the sun.

Adding wheels to the base will allow it to be moved more easily although with small chicken tractors, especially if they are made from light-weight materials, they are usually fairly easy to lift and be moved by two people.

Because they are generally lightweight and not fixed to anything you will need to consider strong winds etc. and also how easy it will be for something to dig under into the coop (or have your chickens accidentally dig themselves out when dustbathing!). A wire ‘skirt’ around the base of the coop should help deter things like rats trying to dig in.

The video below shows work on building an A-frame coop on wheels, starting with the ramp for their chickens to come down from the house part (this particular coop has two levels).

It’s all for the girls

Moving your chickens to fresh ground gives your birds new grass every few days when they can’t free range. Keeping them safe and the tractor ‘critter proof’ is obviously very important, as is being able to access the house part easily to collect eggs and for cleaning purposes.

An interesting example is shown in the video below. Built primarily with 2x4s, hardware wire cloth, and some left over shingles it also has wheels and a handle for moving it to new ground and also a hole for ventilation, and shade considerations.

The girls should be happy :-)