Chicken tractor

Yesterday after work (plus a bit today after I found the tin snips so I could cut the chicken wire) I built a small chicken tractor so we could introduce the chickens to the outside world. I probably should have put some more thought into the design—doors on both ends might be nice, for example—but it worked out ok, and it’ll be easy to take apart later if we decide we want something better. This isn’t going to be their permanent home, in any case; we’ve got a real coop with an enclosed yard for that. This is just so we can take them into the front yard if we want. And so we could take them out of their box in Cam’s office and into the outside world for the first time today.

They’re about five weeks old now, and they’ve got enough insulation that they shouldn’t be too bothered by a breeze. Plus, it was a gorgeous day. So I went up to the neighborhood vet and picked up a cardboard pet carrier to transport them out of the house and into the tractor, one at a time. They were freaked out by the change for a few minutes, but got used to it fairly quickly and started scratching around and eating the clover. Cam fed them some rose petals, which they had fun with, grabbing one and then running away so nobody else could take it from them while they figured out how to eat it.

Getting them back into the house could have been tricky. We don’t have a fishing net or anything to catch them with if they escape, and the tractor is long enough that we can’t just reach in and grab them if they don’t cooperate. Luckily, this time when we opened the door they came over and let us pick them up and put them back in the carrier. Cam had enlisted one of our neighbors to help if we couldn’t wrangle them back inside, but we ended up not needing to call him. This time.

As usual, there are some photos:

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