Monday, March 8, 2010

You might be a redneck if...you drive down the highway with one of these in your truck

Imagine you're driving down the highway and come upon this.

Lord have mercy, is that what I think it is?
An outhouse with a screened-in porch and handicap rails?


No, silly! It's a chicken tractor! And soon to be the best little hen house in New Mexico.

I've been wanting to have a few laying hens for years but have postponed their acquisition for fear of having to build an entire chicken wing onto the barn to keep them safe. What with the coyotes and mountain lions and black panther Deets lying in wait, a hen's odds of surviving at the 7MSN would be dismal.

Enter this chicken tractor I discovered on craigslist.

It's big enough for a couple of hens, and tall enough for me to stand up in.


And check out all these cool features!



I can move my mobile hen house every couple of days so that the hens have fresh foliage to forage and a new batch of bugs to nibble, and so that I don't have to clean out the chicken poop fertilizer.

And look! There's even a drop-down door off the back for easy egg collection.


There's painting and decorating and accessorizing to be done, so I'm still several weeks away from bringing home the girls. I will try to do right by them and provide eggs-actly what they need to be happy hens.

58 comments:

  1. Now that is eggs-citing! Whoever built this sure knew what they were doing, and I love the drop down door for egg collecting!

    Of course I knew by your title to put the coffee cup DOWN, and sure glad I did when I read "an outhouse with a screened-in porch and handicap rails"!!! Good gosh I just about PIMP over that one!

    I'll be looking forward to updates, and Smooch sure seems excited over in the pictures.

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  2. New critters — how fun! I had chickens when I lived in PA and I found them more entertaining than TV.

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  3. Chicken tractors are amazing - they use them at our neighboring organic farm.

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  4. Wonderful! Great thinking!

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  5. That's awesome, 7MSN!

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  6. Carlyce in WI3/8/10, 5:29 AM

    Ha-ha. Loved the outhouse comment! This will be a fun adventure for all your 7MSN fans to watch unfold. Mmmm...I see omelets in your future!

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  7. I have never heard the term chicken tractor before. Now I die enlightened.

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  8. That is just about the coolest chicken house I have ever seen! My neighbor began keeping chickens a couple of years ago, and shares eggs when he has an abundance......you will enjoy the crowing of your rooster!

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  9. Very nice chicken house! Deets and the gang can look in, but not touch. AND chicken manure is great fertilizer for the garden. I hope PW see's this. she's been a wanting chickens.
    signed
    Theresa in ALBerta

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  10. Smart design! Can't wait to see your chicks.

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  11. Cool!! I love my chickens. Your tractor is wonderful and should do a find job of protecting your biddies.
    You may want to retro-fit the fencing part of it with hardware cloth. Raccoons and opossums could make entrance with the width of the current fencing. :(

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  12. Now that is a beautiful chicken house. You weren't kidding when you said it looked like an outhouse with a screened in porch sitting in the bed of your truck! That's hilarious. Can't wait to see how you paint and decorate.

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  13. That is so cool! I want one, too! But, I don't have any chickens!~

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  14. That is way cool! Where did you find it?

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  15. How exciting! I have been looking at various designs online all weekend to do the same thing here on November Hill... keep us posted as you go so I can take notes!

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  16. I like it! Can't wait to see how you decorate it for the girls. I'm sure it will be the best little hen house in N.M.

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  17. This should be interesting. Deets will be entertained for hours!

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  18. Your readers might be interested in this page from The City Chicken showing chicken tractors.

    My favorite page on the site, however, is The Hen House of the Month. They've really got some stylin' designs!

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  19. When you said chicken tractor I was imagining this tiny little tractor with beak suitable controls.

    Can you just imagine chickens driving this all over 7MSN? LOL

    I bet they'd be cruising to town, picking up roosters in a week.

    Okay, okay, back to my spreadsheet.

    (Seriously, how ingenious is that? I've never wanted chickens because of the ... poo. This is really cool! Can't wait for the chicks to get here!)

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  20. Nothing beats fresh eggs! You will be so glad you decided to do it!

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  21. What a AWESOME endeavor!!!!
    I am so jealous! I wish I could convice my hubby to move to the country out in the middle of nowhere.

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  22. chickens are great fun and their eggs are delicious. can't wait to see what you get!

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  23. How cool!

    I've heard of similar chicken houses before, but never seen one.

    I will be very interested to hear how it works out!

    Mary

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  24. Can't wait to meet your "girls"! Rhode Island Rednecks?? :)))

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  25. That's exciting! My husband has been talking about getting or building one. It is good for the chickens to be moved around and does wonders for the pasture too! What kind of chickens are you going to get?

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  26. That is really cool! But please don't tell my hubby. He will want one!

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  27. Carol Lane3/8/10, 8:37 AM

    that is one awesome chicken tractor. Gonna have to show hubby as I want to raise chickens when we get our property. How cool!! Deets stay out of the chicken house, they will peck you.

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  28. I must be a redneck because this thrills me to no end! What a fabulous new addition. I love the contented clucking sounds chickens make. And, fresh eggs will be awesome.

    Ummm....what about snakes....?

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  29. Very nice! Neighbors have a fancy coop and let my hen board there, with their three. The eggs are so much better than store bought.

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  30. 'build an entire chicken wing' ROFL was that a freudian slip or deliberate?

    That's one cool chicken tractor - I'd even take up residence in there! :D

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  31. What a great looking hen house/tractor...congrats! I am so looking forward to the day I get chickens. But like you, I am paranoid about chicken-loving critters raiding the hen house. From what I've read, raccoons are very dextrous and can snatch a chicken's head off through chickens wire, so you may want to reinforce your wire....oh, and put a super-duper lock on the nest box door so no one steals your eggs! www.backyardchickens.com is a great place to go for all things chicken. Good luck!

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  32. Quite the hen house. I wish mine had wheels, definitely would make cleaning it out MUCH easier. You will LOVE getting fresh eggs ~ are you getting baby chicks or grown hens?

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  33. How brave! I think I'll continue to get my fresh eggs from my uncle. He needs the hobby and I need less poop in my life.

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  34. Wow - you guys are just as excited as I am about this!

    CeeCee and Lilla, I hear you on reinforcing the wire. We don't have raccoons or opossums out here, but who knows what else might be able to stick their hand through there.

    Val, I found the unit on craigslist - a guy up in Española makes them.

    Clairz, thanks for those links at The City Chicken. Now I have to pimp my chicken tractor to be just as cool as those. The pressure!

    MJ and Strivingforsavvy, I am planning to get Rhode Island "Rednecks"!

    Carolynn, I'm hoping if I move it around frequently enough, the snakes won't find it. Dream on, I know. Maybe I'll attach a holder for my snakepole to the side of it.

    Gaina, I'm glad somebody picked up on my feeble attempt at humor.

    Bridget, I'm planning to get pullets - big enough to not have to fret over but young enough to bond with.

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  35. That's pretty ingenious! They should be very safe tucked away in there. You will sooooo love those fresh eggs!

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  36. Good luck with the chickens. That looks like a very functional little chicken coop. I would love to have them again but you have to be there every day or have someone who can be and I just cannot commit to that right now but I love chickens.

    They knew we were rednecks when the first summer, after we bought this farm, we head for the county fair with our kids' 4-H sheep and goats-- in the back of our station wagon.

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  37. I also like Buff Orpingintons but with only three, you are probably right on the red island reds ;)

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  38. Oh boy fresh eggs for you and chickens to watch for us!

    LOL even Wynonna came out to see what came home to 7MSN.

    George & Alan Fan

    PS: LOVE yesterday's video of them

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  39. Well, if thats not the coolest idea! I had chickens about 20 yrs ago.....with a cool coop like you have, I might be getting me some more! Have fun!

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  40. This is just awesome! I know it's been a long time coming for you.

    I'm picturing you enjoying some delicious breakfast green chile breakfast burritos with your new fresh egg factory just outside your door. Hooray!


    ~Lisa

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  41. How cool! You will love fresh eggs! They taste so much better than store bought. After having chickens for several years, I would recommend you fix something around the base of the "chick" house to avoid anything from digging underneath to get at your girls. Can't wait to see what breed you pick. My favorite is the Buff Orphington's. They are very sweet chickens and lay big beautiful brown eggs. Have fun!!

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  42. Well ain't we elegant-like!! I had no idea the little houses even existed. I was wondering about snakes, too, but sounds like you have it covered. Fresh eggs are SO yummy! I know you'll enjoy your new critters when you get them.

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  43. How WONDERFUL! My neighbors below have a Hen House...it doesn't move and, in fact, it doesn't have a slanted roof...But the Hens seem to be thriving there. At least, from what I can see.

    Last year I did a whole Post about the Chicken Red Carpet, just as the actual Oscar Red Carpet was going on, not five minutes away from me and those Chickens...lol!
    MUCH GOOD LUCK, my dear, with your NEW Hen House and the sweet little chickens who will be housed in it!

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  44. This is about the coolest thing I have ever seen. Can't wait to meet the girls. Are you going to buy full grown hens or start out with chicks?

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  45. This apartment-dwelling city gal is excited to share the experience without any of the mess and smell! Before I moved back to the burbs I lived up in the country - and I vividly remember the first time the wind blew the chicken barns' aroma my way - a fowl stench indeed!!! ;p

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  46. Oh, one more bit of unsolicited advice before you bring home your new 2-leggeds--Storey's Guide to Raising Poultry. It's the bible of chicken care books.

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  47. that is flippin cool!!!!!!!!!
    love it!

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  48. I love fresh eggs :) My son and DIL have a couple of dozen chickens, so they keep me in eggs. He had to pour a concrete perimeter though because the coyote and fox figured out how to dig under the fencing to tunnel into the chicken dinners :( Hope you don't have as smart hunters in your area
    Reb

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  49. That's the sweetest henhouse I've ever seen! And Wynona is just a big question mark behind the fence there - what on earth is this? And how The Black Panther (aka The Bluebird Hunter) will take this - time will show...

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  50. How clever of whoever designed this! I have always wanted to have a couple of chickens and will be interested to learn how this works out for you (and the chickens...)

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  51. Cool coup.
    If you don't follow Old Picture of the Day, go there and check out posts (February 28) about his Chickie Town and raising chickens and peacocks.

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  52. That's a pretty nifty chicken tractor! Can't wait to see how you gussy it up - and I can't wait to see the girls that move into it!

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  53. OH --- you will LOVE your chickies. I have had chickens for, wow, probably 12 years. They are all gone now (you know, we were supposed to retire and that's when you don't get new chickens cuz they don't transport well 1,600 miles) and I really miss them. I turned mine loose everyday out of their chickie stall (horse stall) and they wandered all over the 5 acres, keeping my place bug and slug free. You might want to allow them to do that some, maybe even fence in a yard for them that the tractor can live in. I always worried about my barn and feral cats but they never bothered the chickens once the chickens were full sized. Fresh eggs are wonderful, but you won't be able to hard boil them very well, cuz they will be fresh. I'll explain further if you interested in knowing why. Have fun!

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  54. I love this chicken house! I hope you really enjoy it once you get chickens!

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  55. You'll love 'em. And if it makes you feel any better, none of our cats have ever been interested in full-size chickens--once they are full-size. I think they are big enough and boisterous enough to intimidate the cats, plus they aren't usually alone and the cats don't know that the chickens won't form a gang against him. Anyway, I'd keep deets away from chicks, but I'll bet he'll back off once they are big. Have fun--hope you are getting some Ameracaunas. Love them green eggs...although bantams are our favorites.

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  56. I love it. I soooo want one.

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  57. Linda, love this mobile chicken house!

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