Oct 07 2009

Hot-Rod Chicken House

I’ve wanted to put wheels on our chicken house for a while, to make it easier to move around.  It’s about all I can do to shove it from one spot to another, and I need to be able to move it every day to give them fresh grass and keep them from digging holes in the yard.  It should make for about a two-week rotation.

First I put 4-inch dolly wheels on one end and a handle on the other end, figuring I could roll it on those.  They’re small enough that they get stuck in ruts, though, and it’s still awfully heavy to lift most of the weight that way.  So I thought of getting some old bicycle wheels and mounting them on a rod that goes through the house, so they could take more of the weight.

I picked up one old kid-sized bike, and then discovered that the two axles weren’t the same size.  So I found another old bike the same size, so I’d have two wheels that would fit on the same size rod.  Then I picked up a threaded rod long enough to reach through the building and nuts and washers for both ends.  I drilled holes at the right height to hold the building a few inches off the ground, and attached 2x4s across those holes on the inside with glue and screws for extra strength, then drilled the holes on through the 2x4s.  I hammered a couple bushings bigger than the rod into the holes, put the rod through, and fastened the wheels on either side with nuts and lock washers.

Once I got the tires aired up (I was amazed they held air, as old as they are), it worked great.  The other end weighs about 40 pounds, so it’s pretty easy to lift and push around.   Now I’ll be able to move it every day, and get it into parts of the yard the chickens haven’t been able to work on yet.

One Wheel

One Wheel

I still have to cut off the extra length on the threaded rod.

The Other Wheel

The Other Wheel

The Handle

The Handle

This is the handle I use to move it.  In the lower left you can see one of the first wheels I tried, that were just too small.

Mobile House and Pen

Mobile House and Pen

And here they are on fresh green grass, after I moved their pen this morning!

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