Pastured Broiler System

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Farside
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Re: Pastured Broiler System

#11 Post by Farside » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:10 pm

Here is a photo of my prototype roof truss system:
Assembled.jpg
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The pieces of wood sticking out the sides will be 6ft long and come together to form a triangular shape. Two of these triangle shapes are then bolted together to form a peaked roof.

Here is a photo of the system disassembled so you can see the different parts and how they join together using 2 bolts:
Exploded.jpg
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The ridge beam is an 9ft long piece of wood that attaches to a wooden block via a bolt that screws into a barrel nut embedded in the block as shown below:
Ridge Joint.jpg
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Farside
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Re: Pastured Broiler System

#12 Post by Farside » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:58 pm

Today we built the chicken tractor. We didn't finish it so it will take another day. These things are labor intensive to knock together!

We have all the panels constructed and most of the chicken wire covering the panels but we ran out of zip ties.

The roof construction went well, and we are joining all the 1X2 framing using triangles of 3/8 plywood which is working out really well. Tomorrow we bolt it all together!

I was thinking about the poly tarp roof and how hot it can get, so I'm using some row cover material to staple a second ceiling in the tractor. This will act to funnel airflow between the 2 layers of fabric similar to how a tent fly keeps a tent cool.

Farside
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Re: Pastured Broiler System

#13 Post by Farside » Mon Jul 08, 2019 12:51 pm

Well, what I expected to take a day took 3 days. It was a marathon construction job and I think a lot of the pain came from the modular design. 12 panels for the sides and then the peaked roof parts. All the side panels are individually covered in chicken wire.

In hindsight I would not have made this thing modular. It will take a day to deconstruct it and put it away, and I have no idea how long to reassemble it again so that it all fits back together. Maybe I'll feel different in a few months time but right now I am not up for that!

The good news is the lightweight 1X2 frame is rigid and works well. The downside is that it required a lot more joining which I think ate up so much time, and screws!.

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Re: Pastured Broiler System

#14 Post by Farside » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:07 pm

Here is the (almost) completed tractor from the front:
tractor_front.jpg
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The top opens up to allow full access to this end of the enclosure.

Here is the back:
tractor_back.jpg
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There are two access panels that swing down.

There is a 2 ft chicken wire skirt around the entire tractor that prevents predators digging underneath the walls, and also deters them from coming too close.

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Re: Pastured Broiler System

#15 Post by Farside » Tue Jul 09, 2019 7:11 pm

Here are some chicks on their way to their new home:
chicks_enroute.jpg
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And here they are settling in:
in_tractor.jpg
in_tractor.jpg (129.81 KiB) Viewed 39 times
I have to say they are much happier in this mobile enclosure than they ever were in the brooder. They especially love the long grass!

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