Healthy Kids

Constructing a chook tractor

A nifty enclosure for your feathered friends.

Written by Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation


Why not let the chooks do all the hard work improving your soil with this movable chook pen? This chook tractor has an open floor that allows chickens to remove weeds and bugs from patches of ground, leaving their valuable fertiliser behind. Once the chooks have gone over one area you can move them to the next space. Chook tractors are also great for containing free-range chickens at night. The instructions below make a tractor 3 metres in diameter and 1.5 metres high.

What to do

    1. Cut 2 of the 4 m lengths of conduit into 1 m lengths – you will have 8 pieces.

    2. Connect one end of each of these 1 m lengths to the crossbar of a T-joiner. 

    3. Slot the free end of the 1m lengths into an end that has the joiner already connected, to make a circle. This circle will form the base of the tractor.

    4.  Insert 1 of the 4m lengths of conduit into a T-joiner and take the other end of the conduit to the opposite T-joiner insert to form an arch.

    5. Repeat with the remaining 3 × 4 m lengths

    6. At the top of the dome where all the conduit lengths cross, tie the wire together.

    7. Once you have the dome formed, it's time to add the horizontal bracing. To do this you will need to connect 2 of the 4 m lengths of conduit together. Starting a metre above the base, fix the conduit to the vertical length of wire. Continue this process around the dome until you read the beginning again. Cut the conduit and connect both ends together with another joiner. Repeat this process with the second horizontal brace.

    8. Using wire, fix the chicken wire to the base and first horizontal bracing.

Written by Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation

The Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation is a not-for-profit charity whose vision is to see children form positive food habits for life. The Foundation provides the inspiration, information, professional development and support for educational institutions to deliver pleasurable food education, in conjunction with educators, partners and the wider community.

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