i just finished my first chicken tractor (or first chicken coop of any kind for that matter, ive never had chickens of my own and wasnt raised with them) and i had done a little rummaging through this site so now that im finally finished i thought i would submit my tractor pics here. i Live in a city in California that doesnt allow chickens in the city limits but have cleared with my neighbors before i started and they were all on board. so without delaying too terribly much heres what i have set up so far:
its about 12 feet long and 4 feet wide. the coop portion is 4ftx4ft wide and 4 feet at the peak of the roofline. those white vents are 6x15 inch aluminum vents slanted down to help keep rain out and still provide ventilation.the doors open on both sides, the left side has trim over it so that its always seated on top so that its less likely to allow water inside. there is a lip inside the bottom front of the doors 1.5 inches tall and has weather stripping on it to keep out rain from the bottom of the doors. the roof overhangs about 6 inches on all sides. all the gaps were sealed with an outdoor silicon based adhesive then painted over. the run part is 4 feet tall and the are under the coop is 2 feet. the nesting boxes have screw eye latches to keep the lids open when getting the eggs out. i dont have handles on the front side to lift it yet because i havent decided what im going to use for it. either i put long 2x4 rails down the side and shape into handles and pick it up like a wheel barrel, or i was thinking maybe large screw eyes and then attach a rope or chain. the wheels are 10" appliance dolley wheels that hold 300lbs each. i picked up 6 pullets from an egg ranch saturday morning and today and yesterday all 6 have laid an egg each. 4 of them are laying in the nests but 2 so far lay outside them, one lays in the corner of the coop on a spot where she has a small pile of pine shavings and the other has been laying in a spot she dug into the grass (or lack there of). any suggestions how to encourage the other 2 ladies to lay in the nests, i tried the ping pong ball thing the first day and thats how the first 3 laid there. second day i went and bought crappy store bought eggs and put 1 in each nesting box hoping they would get the idea. today it was 4/6 in the boxes. should i just keep at it with the store eggs and leave them in till all 6 ladies are using them? or do i run the risk of kicking someone into brooding mode and she stops laying? any advice would be appreciated.
At this point im just about done, i still have some final tweaks to make that im debating how i wnat them, like the hanging food and water. at the moment i have it near the ramps becuase i thought having it accessible from up to 3 sides was ideal, but i consider moving one tot he sam side as the other, but that would reduce the feeding/drinking access to 2 sides.
from the other side
i put an awning over the chickens entrance to help keep rain out, not sure if its adequate yet, but im hoping so. its not painted here but i thought it was easier to distinguish from the wall unpainted so i used the older picture
the nesting boxes are also incomplete here but are finished now. theyre about a foot wide, and a foot and a half deep. foot and a half tall at the back and 2 feet tall at the front, there is about a 4 inch drop from the holes in the wall to the bottom of the boxes.
the ramps are painted now but easier to distinguish the design when unpainted so again older picture
my son during construction looking for the 'cheeks'