|PVC Hoop Chicken Tractor with Automatic Waterer|
The new hoop tractors are also fairly large (10ft L x 6ft W). The main issue I have found thus far is that they are just a tiny bit shorter than I would like. I'm tall, and they are just high enough to make it impossible to walk in bent over so I have to bend and crouch, which results in more of a waddle than a walk. The chickens seem to be really enjoying them! I have separated the roosters into one and the hens (as well as the st. run silkies, and the 3 emergency brooder babies who are smaller than the rest, 2 of which are roosters) into the other. There are around 21 chickens in each one. They are not super predator proof, as I only used chicken wire on the bottom and deer netting on the top. I built the large hoop coop the same way. I keep them close to the house, though, and so far I haven't had a problem. The dogs do a pretty good job chasing most animals off, and alerting me to the rest. Honestly, other peoples' dogs have been my biggest problem and they can get through almost anything if they want to badly enough.
|Moving the chicken tractor made easy with PVC|
|The lil' ladies' new automatic waterer|
|Close-up of the automatic waterer fittings|
The newest addition to the new chicken tractors are the automatic waterers. I built a wooden frame onto the top to hold the bucket securely when I am moving the coop. I put it in the front so that I can easily dump and clean the bowl. The bucket being on top allows gravity to provide the pressure for the water flow. I added a quick disconnect and shut off valve to allow me to easily remove the bucket and clean it. It really isn't needed though, as this type of waterer already has a quick disconnect which stops water flow, at the bowl. It is so much easier to fill the 5 gallon bucket once every day or two, than refilling waterers at least twice a day and then worrying about them being out of water. It has already been getting pretty hot and the summer's heat is really going to be dangerous. I like that I can add ice to the buckets to cool the water when it gets really hot, as well.
The tractors have been in service for about 2 weeks and the waterers for 2 days. I am very happy with them so far. Hopefully they will stand the test of time.