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The "Tractor" and Predators - Page 2

post #11 of 13

Thanks, and your avatar is sure cute.


Edited by limited25 - 4/22/16 at 5:12pm
post #12 of 13
Thanks he was a cutie

Home of the world's cutest dachshund, one crazy blue heeler, two cats,
              one fat pony, and many (but not too many!) chickens

              Can anyone tell me, how many are too many chickens?

 

Reply

Home of the world's cutest dachshund, one crazy blue heeler, two cats,
              one fat pony, and many (but not too many!) chickens

              Can anyone tell me, how many are too many chickens?

 

Reply
post #13 of 13

Two years ago my husband built me a hoop-house style tractor.  It measures about 8' x 5,' the bottom 18" on either long side is enclosed in hardware cloth, and the ends are solid.  It's roofed with sheet metal, and he built a hardware-cloth covered ventilation strip along the entire roofline.  I designed it so the entire thing is open-bottomed and serves as both the run and coop.  All around the outside I attached a 12" skirt of hardware cloth, which I initially planned to pin in place with tent stakes.  Our yard is too stony, so I use cinder blocks and big stones on top to mold it to uneven ground.

The idea was to move it around the yard during the summer and park it and stack haybales along the sides for the winter season.  In practice, it is almost too heavy for me to move myself.  And the yard is dear to my husband, which means I had to move it often enough that the chickens didn't do any heavy scratching to the grass.  The hardware cloth skirt makes it both predator proof and even more cumbersome to move, especially with lugging the rocks too.  On the other hand, it has been totally predator proof so far.  Even my dangerous little terrier hasn't managed to reach any chicks in there.  She came close to chewing through the nest box door, but I caught her in time and reinforced the door.  (The other idea was that I would only have either four large fowl or seven bantams to lay eggs for our family, thus this coop would be the one and only coop we would ever need for all our chicken desires.  ha ha)

I really like that the bottom is open.  It's been parked for eight months now, and I keep piling on deep litter.  When we move it, we'll have a big old pile of fertile compost.  I like that I can provide my chickens with fresh grass and bugs without having to go out multiple times a day to feed, water, open the door, close the door, etc.  I like the peace of mind, knowing that compared to the other scrappy shelters I've built, my chickens are the safest in my husband's hoop coop.

I wish it were easier to move, that's the only drawback.  This year I'm pregnant and I just know I will not be up to dragging that thing around every two days all summer long.  So we found an acceptable location close enough to run out a cord for electricity, and it's parked for now.  I'm brooding a nice batch of light brahma in it, and everyone's happy that they can be outside in the sunshine and fresh air, and out of our basement.

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