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Chicken Tractors - Safe from predators?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm looking to get my first chickens. I'm trying to determine how "big" I'll go.

 

Here are the specs:

Central NJ

2.25 acres + >1 acre common area (meadow) where they can forage

Regular sightings of red foxes and hawks

8+ hens at least, but room to grow is good

I'm officially allowed up to 20 hens

 

I was originally looking to go bigger (18-20 hens) and get a permanent house/run to be able to handle more hens. Now due to my wife suggesting that I not start so big, I'm looking into other options. If I went we a 4x4 tractor (8-10 hens), I can move it daily and not have to decide on a permanent location. Another nice thing about the tractor is that it is about 1/2 the price (not a huge factor)...but also less than 1/2 the chickens (maybe not too few).

 

Isn't a tractor less safe since predators will be able to potentially dig under considering that my lawn is not 100% level?

 

Those of you who have tractors, do you eventually get to a point where you stop moving it regularly?

 


Thank you,

B34N


Edited by B34N - 5/13/16 at 5:56pm
post #2 of 8
A 4x4 is about half as much room as you need for 8 hens, I would build and 8x8 for up to 16 hens and then a 12x12 for 36 hens it really depends how many you want
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Do you feel the measurements you suggested also apply if I plan to free-range them "every day" and they will have access to 3+ acres of land?

 

Additionally, I wasn't clear that 4'x4' tractor also had a 4' x 5' run area. Total square feet would be 36.


Edited by B34N - 5/12/16 at 7:24pm
post #4 of 8
Yes, just sleeping in there will be cramped, especially in the winter
post #5 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by B34N View Post
 

I'm looking to get my first chickens. I'm trying to determine how "big" I'll go.

 

Here are the specs:

Central NJ

2.25 acres + >1 acre common area (meadow) where they can forage

Regular sightings of red foxes and hawks

8+ hens at least, but room to grow is good

I'm officially allowed up to 20 hens

 

I was originally looking to go bigger (18-20 hens) and get a permanent house/run to be able to handle more hens. Now due to my wife suggesting that I not start so big, I'm looking into other options. If I went we a 4x4 tractor (8-10 hens), I can move it daily and not have to decide on a permanent location. Another nice thing about the tractor is that it is about 1/2 the price (not a huge factor)...but also less than 1/2 the chickens (maybe not too few).

 

Isn't a tractor less safe since predators will be able to potentially dig under considering that my lawn is not 100% level?

 

Those of you who have tractors, do you eventually get to a point where you stop moving it regularly?

 


Thank you,

B34N

Both your links go to same coop....which look very nice but...

Not many details(tho I didn't dig), 6x6 coop doesn't need 6 nests so I have my doubts about their designs.

If that is a 'tractor', which yes can be less safe because of dig unders, it looks like the coop portion is at least nocturnally secure.

 

Space and Ventilation are very important and should be thought out carefully before build/purchase.

Check out the 2 articles linked in my signature.

Free ranging can make a difference......until a predator event or severe weather keeps the confined.

Don't skimp on coop space.

 

Climate can play a big part in coop design.

Adding your location to your profile can helps folks give better answers/suggestions.

Welcome to BYC!!

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by aart View Post
 

Both your links go to same coop....which look very nice but...

Not many details(tho I didn't dig), 6x6 coop doesn't need 6 nests so I have my doubts about their designs.

If that is a 'tractor', which yes can be less safe because of dig unders, it looks like the coop portion is at least nocturnally secure.

 

Space and Ventilation are very important and should be thought out carefully before build/purchase.

Check out the 2 articles linked in my signature.

Free ranging can make a difference......until a predator event or severe weather keeps the confined.

Don't skimp on coop space.

 

Climate can play a big part in coop design.

Adding your location to your profile can helps folks give better answers/suggestions.

Welcome to BYC!!


I fixed the links, added my location to my profile and read the links that you provided. I'm definitely leaning towards the combination coop with run. Yes the pre-made are a bit pricey but I have confidence in their quality of construction. I have a shed by the same company.

post #7 of 8

Hi there! I have just gotten more chickens after my 16 were killed by a raccoon :( I have a chicken tractor so a dirt floor, I planning on digging tranches and putting wire in it around the coop. Would chicken wire be strong enough against a raccoon? Thank you so much!

post #8 of 8

Chicken wire is NOT predator safe, it's really only good for keeping chickens out of something (i.e. a garden) or deterring aerial predators.

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