Now those are two words I thought I’d never see together – Sleek + Chicken Tractor. But that’s just one attribute of the Chicken Caravan, a chicken tractor design created by Designers on Holiday’s Tom Gottelier and Bobby Petersen. It’s a simple mobile coop design created for The Ecology Center – a non-profit organization dedicated to creative environmental solutions – based in the heart of California chicken country, San Juan Capistrano.
That is a pretty sleek-lookin’ chicken coop, in’t it? Especially without the chickens and chicken poo all over it. Though the photos lack the requisite chickens, the gable-style design is fairly clever sporting an aluminum-clad exterior and three hydraulic lift hinges for each side door to allow nesting/roosting chickens out to scratch and ravage the land. Once they’re fed, gotten their exercise, and had a couple clucks, y’all chicken people can fasten’em back up in the coop, attach it to your tractor/atv, and re-locate them wherever they’re needed most. A portable electric fence goes along with the tractor to provide a little protection and keep them from wandering too far.
If you have chickens or have considered using chickens as part of your permaculture strategy or pest control operation, you know the ability to relocate them is crucial. The chickens will both fertilize the soil, turn it down, gobble up little pests, and allows them to range around more freely. It simply makes for healthier chickens overall.
The wheels are fixed which limits turning but its small footprint and light weight means easier maneuverability. You’ll notice the roosts are along the inner bottom (and below the enclosed nesting boxes). It makes for more roosting area and, granted the lower boards are removable, would make for easy cleaning. Though the gable ends seem to have vents, I would be concerned with heat on a hot summer day, especially if closed up. Regardless, it’s a well-constructed and interesting design, wouldn’t you say?
To see more on the Chicken Caravan as well as Tom Gottelier and Bobby Petersen’s other works, check out the Designers on Holiday webpage.