First, you can go in and edit your title, so you may want to do that. Click on your post and look for an edit button. That way when/if more folks chime in today, there won't be so much confusion...
Edited by teach1rusl - 5/21/11 at 5:58am
Personally, with six birds in an area that gets winters, I'd opt for a stationary coop, but that's JMO. Some have both, a tractor for warmer months and a permanent coop for winter. But that just seems double the work to me.
Are you looking at a rectangular type tractor?? Those seem to give more workable space than the triangular kind, plus you can roof (even if just tin) more of the run part (for rain and snow if that'll be their winter home too). Most folks say at least 10 sq. ft of run space per bird, so that would be 60 sq. ft. If you're moving it every day (which gets tiresome because larger tractors are heavy), you might get by with 8 sq. ft. per hen. Your birds would spend quite a bit more time indoors in the winter, especially if you get snow. If the run is covered, it will encourage them to come out a lot more - they don't mind the cold nearly as much as the snow. With six hens, I wouldn't want a housing smaller than 24 sq. ft. in NY. Personally, I think tractors are more doable in the southern states, or for folks who just have a 3 or 4 birds.
Just curious, why are you not wanting a fixed coop???
PS - Keep in mind that what seems quite roomy for several 6 oz. chicks becomes pretty confining to those same chickens when they're the size of small house cats.