Brothers M. Mondays in May is our tradition of sharing our excitement about our chickens every Monday in May.
As I said in the last post, more on wire rusts and wood rots. Ten years ago I built 2 chicken tractors and this year some of the chicken wire is rusted beyond protection and the rest is questionable. So to cut to the chase, 9 years is how long my chicken tractor lasted.
One of the two tractors developed holes in the chicken wire late last year, I think from birds landing on it, so I knew I needed to replace some of the wire this year. What I didn’t know was that ants had destroyed the front board of that tractor. Here’ a picture of what I replaced at the 11th hour to get me through this year, one section of wire over the top, new front board, and new chicken wire on the front. The 2nd tractor didn’t have holes yet, so I just added some fencing over the same area I replaced on the first. That will get us through the growing season.
Most of the wood frame could probably go another year or two. There’s evidence that ants have started homes in the wood, but most of it still seems solid. Where I went wrong was that I added a board to the front of this chicken tractor because there was a big knot where we pull from. The ants crawled between the boards and got a foot hold. Also, I think the board I added may not have been treated. I probably meant to replace it and forgot.
Rust is the main factor in rebuilding the chicken tractors. All the chicken wire needs replace. Some would easily break off while the rest is getting there. Here’s a flattened pile of the wire. The top, is the worst place, but the sides are not too far behind. I think next time once it appears the wire may start rusting, I’ll treat it with some anti rust spray.
As I said, I’m not going to repair the old ones, it’s too much work just to get a couple more years. I’ll spray and re-use the cattle panels, re-use the old doors as they have already been replaced once and are easy to replace, but the rest will be new.
Here’s a picture of the back of the tractor so you can see how well the pallet planks held up. Really not bad considering the age.
Here’s a link to my ‘How to build a Chicken Tractor’ page.