- Paperback: 114 pages
- Publisher: Emerald Lake Books; 2 edition (August 17, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0996567488
- ISBN-13: 978-0996567480
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,374 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Stress-Free Chicken Tractor Plans: An Easy to Follow, Step-by-Step Guide to Building Your Own Chicken Tractors. Paperback – August 17, 2016
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About the Author
John Suscovich is a farmer by passion and profession. A jack of all trades, John has found a niche that scratches his every itch in managing perennial plants and rotational livestock. He is an operating member of The Food Cycle, LLC, which runs Camps Road Farm, Kent Falls Brewing Company and Neversink Spirits. John is also the Founder and Creative Director of Farm Marketing Solutions, LLC, which seeks to educate and inspire the next generation of farmers. He enjoys feeding people, spending time with his family, and taking long walks through the pasture.
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Top Customer Reviews
I can't say enough good things about this chicken tractor design, John really did his homework. It's well worth the price, read it twice and build it.
His original plans had a few exclusions - the type and size of wheels weren't specified, but I picked up some 10" pneumatic wheels at Harbor Freight and they did the job quite well. I've had no problems with the bearings, the wheels just slide over the 5/8" bolt I screwed through the frame.
I also elected to cover the whole roof area with a tarp, to give the birds plenty of shade on hot days. They get enough sun through the sides in the morning and afternoon to keep plenty healthy. I found the PVC tube feeder in John's plans to be an excellent way of feeding the birds... it has a large capacity and doesn't cause any problems when moving the tractor. Just make sure to move the tractor smoothly so that the feeder doesn't turn into a battering ram!
One small improvement I made was to nail a 6' 2 X 3" stud alongside the frame bottom so that it extends about 30" from the front of the tractor. I found that it was a lot easier to move the tractor with that little extra bit of leverage, and wasn't as apt to run into your feet.
I've used the tractor now for 3 sets of 24 Cornish Cross birds and sometimes with a few ducks or laying chickens thrown in. They grow extremely fast and do very well in the tractor. I move the tractor twice a day, feeding the birds in the morning. I like that the door is tall and easy to get through, and I can almost stand upright inside the tractor to pour the feed into the trough and fill the water bucket. I added a 5 gallon pail with chicken water nipples on the bottom to my tractor. It hangs from a chain on the rear upright in the middle of the tractor. I cut a whole in the chicken wire in that area and hung a side from an old rabbit cage over it as a door. You could do the same with some hardware cloth. Something about 18" by 18" works well.. I just flip up the wire 'door' and can get my garden hose or water bucket up where I need it to fill the 5 gallon chicken water bucket.
A few times I've started the birds in the tractor while the weather was still a little cold. In some of the photos you might notice a couple of heat lamps inside and an extension cord rigged to the tractor. You need an early start if your summers are really hot, as the Cornish Cross birds can get heat stressed. On cold, windy days I've even stapled cut up feed bags to the sides of the tractor for wind protection. Buy a good, thick tarp for the roof. So far mine has lasted almost 4 years and is still in great shape.
I highly recommend John's "Stress Free Chicken Tractor Plans" if you want to build a sturdy, long lasting chicken tractor. Mine has held up perfectly for over 3 years now, and is outside full time, winter through summer. We've raised Cornish Cross birds, Red Isa's and even ducks in it.
We planned out our year and built 3 tractors in the spring. By mid summer we had built 3 more. We had a very successful broiler year using these plans. My morning chores were so easy to do by myself. The tractors were also a big hit with our customers. When they see the attention to detail it really shows how well the chickens are being cared for. These tractors quickly became a topic of conversations around town.
Not only does this book lay out everything needed to build the tractors, it includes invaluable information regarding pasture rotation, feed, predators, and all the other little questions that come with deciding to raise pastured poultry. If you are thinking of building a chicken tractor, this book is a must have!