Free-range chickens can be a cost effective and fun hobby for even suburban homeowners. The term "free-range" implies wide open spaces although simply providing space for chickens to feed is enough. Building a pen for chickens to move about is an effective alternative to this problem. Making a mobile pen is the only way to eliminate predator problems and chickens roaming into unwanted areas. Placing wheels on the pen creates mobility to move chickens where and when it is needed.
Place the horizontal marks for the wheels. Measure and mark the horizontal position for the wheels from the back end of the sides 12 inches. This will be the distance from the wheels to the back of the pen.
Place the vertical marks for the wheels. Measure the diameter of the wheel from the center hole to the outer edge. Add 2 inches to this measurement. Using this measurement, mark the wheel location on the frame at the point of the horizontal marking. Do this for both sides.
Set up the frame. Drill a hole on each side at the marked points using the 1/2-inch drill bit. Fit the screw through the hole on both sides to ensure proper fitting. Remove the screws.
Attach the wheels. Line up the wheel hardware and the wheel hole. Fit the screw through the hole in both the wheel and the hardware, so the screw head is flush with the outer face of the wheel. Place the screw tip through the hole in the pen, so the wheel assembly is on the outside as it would be on a lawn mower. Screw the bolt onto the tip of the screw protruding through the frame. Tighten the bolt to hold the assembly in place. Repeat this step with the other wheel.
Check the tightness of the assembly by raising and lowering the adjustment levers. You should be able to move the wheel height easily on both sides. This will allow you to raise and lower the pen allowing the chickens access to the ground when needed.
Things You Will Need
- 2 lawn mower wheels
- 2 lawn mower wheel adjustment assemblies
- 1/2- by 6-inch bolts, 2
- 1/2-inch nuts, 2
- Measuring tape
- 1/2-inch drill bit