A-frame tractor: does it need a wire floor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by AlGalMom, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. AlGalMom

    AlGalMom Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2011
    We are in the process of building an A-frame tractor/coop for our little flock of standard cochins & marans. They will live in it and it will serve as their run--as much as we'd like to free range them, we have too many free-range neighborhood dogs for that to be safe. We're planning to move it every few days so they have fresh pasture. What we're debating right now is how/if to secure the ground with hardware cloth to keep out burrowing pests/predators. I feel like it kind of defeats the purpose to put wire down on the floor, since we want them to forage and scratch. Also, they'll be fairly large birds--would a wire floor end up hurting them? (I read that large birds should not be raised on wire--I'm assuming that refers to a wire floored cage, but don't know if it would still be uncomfortable for them to walk on it all day.)

    Would it be beneficial to put a wire skirt around the exterior base of the tractor? One that laid flush with the ground, but sat on top of it?

    What kind of animals will burrow into a coop? Rats? Foxes?

    Any ideas or experience you can share would be much appreciated!
  2. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    I would put a skirt around the outside of the run out about 6-8". Put rocks or use tent stakes to anchor it to the ground. I have wire inside one of my tractors. I hate it because the birds hate it. It is only around the inside but they can't scratch as well there and it upsets them.

    I can tell you with Marans, it needs to be a big run. They need space. They live in tractors well but if I put more than 6 in a 10x10 tractor they start getting nasty with each other even though we move ours at least once a week, more often in winter because they are busy birds and need the enjoyment of looking for tidbits. My Cochins were more laid back and did not care but now they live in pens mostly and not tractors.

    Have fun building!
  3. cbreezerentals

    cbreezerentals Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 3, 2010
    Tillamook, OR
    I have an A frame that does not have a floor but I do not have any predators that will go under to worry about. It may help to state where you live so people that are in your area can address this. I live in Oregon. I am going to have some birds that will need to be separated from the rest of my flock and I will use poultry netting fence to keep coyotes out.
  4. AlGalMom

    AlGalMom Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 28, 2011
    We are in Louisiana in the city.

    It looks like we will have, at most, one maran and two Cochins, and the floor of the tractor is 6x8. I'm hopeful that will be enough space--we followed the space requirements in Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens. Our maran is definitely the most active bird, and pretty smart!
  5. lceh

    lceh Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 15, 2008
    Central Virginia
    We have an A-frame and we do have a wire floor to keep burrowing predators out. It's 2"x 4" fence wire. We have never had a problem with the adult birds(bantams) being injured by it, although we once had a 6-week-old bantam youngster catch a leg and dislocate its hip. Once their feet are larger it's not an issue. They are still able to dust bathe and scratch the ground.

    Hope that helps!

    ETA: Here's a photo:

    Last edited: Apr 25, 2011

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