We got it done!
I’m talking about the hoop-coop, the chicken tractor, the daycare facility for the Girls. They have inspected it and appear to find it acceptable…
I looked at loads of YouTube videos about making a light, manageable, roomy chicken tractor. I looked at different materials, speed of assembly, price and minimal opportunity for stuffing it up. And I finally decided on PVC pipe. It’s inexpensive, it’s durable, it’s light and it’s easy to work with.
I did the drawings. I function best when I can make a picture of what I’m planning, and although this isn’t a technical drawing by any means, it has the information I need.
We bought the stuff and laid it out on the grass in the back yard. We looked at it, looked at each other, and couldn’t find a decent excuse not to get cracking. So we got cracking.
Day 1, we got the frame assembled. Day 2 we added the wire mesh, made the door frame and door, and added the towing ropes.
At the end of the afternoon it was done, and we pulled it up to the gate of the chook yard, opened both door and gate and stood back. The Girls investigated. We watched. They thought it was fine, but after an hour they took themselves back into the chook yard, where I’d thoughtfully provided a pile of watermelon rinds, which they love. It was all painless. They walked in without urging, and walked back out the same way. It’s not going to be a problem.
We still have to gussy up the back end with a bit of tarpaulin to provide shade and weather shelter. I need to make or buy a smaller water feeder to put in there. And that’s about it. We can move them around on the grass in the back yard, which they’ll help keep short for us while they reduce the bug population. We can keep them in there if we need to do work in the main chook yard or the hen house. We can keep them in there if they go broody, since there are no nesting boxes.
It wasn’t without its moments, but this build was pretty straightforward and definitely not complicated. No special skills required; I’d say the hardest part was getting 3m/10ft lengths of pipe home from the hardware shop.
Anyway, we’re looking forward to watching them on their travels around the back yard.