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Almost finished with our Chicken Tractor

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hamiam, May 22, 2017.

  1. Hamiam

    Hamiam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2017
    Cottondale, Texas
    My Coop
    image.jpg I became a member right before the change over to the new computer system so I had to go to the sister site BYH to ask for help with our design. So, I want to thank @eggbert420 @aart @ddschicks @RonC @Leahs Mom & @21hens-incharge for all their help.
    We had bought an old goat trailer & removed the flat metal roof & welded on a raised roof.
    I'm still figuring out the posting thing & I'll add the new pics in next post.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2017
    KikisGirls and Leahs Mom like this.
  2. Hamiam

    Hamiam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2017
    Cottondale, Texas
    My Coop
    image.jpg image.jpg We added the wings on the side that can be raised in warm weather & lowered in bad weather. Also a solar security light, hardware cloth over top of wire sides, & vinyl flooring over the heavy livestock mat floor. image.jpg The last things to do are paint the roosting bars for easier clean up, add the nesting boxes (they will be built & attached by the hitch area. The opening will be that bottom left wall that we'll cut out. It's a metal wall). We also will add bird netting over the top to protect from Hawks.
    We were going to use electric poultry fence around the tractor each time we moved it but decided on the kennel. We will still move the tractor every 4 days & the panels aren't too hard to move with my husband & I.

    So, what do y'all think?
     
    Chickenrunlady likes this.
  3. Leahs Mom

    Leahs Mom Chicken Obsessed

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    It looks so nice! How many birds will you be keeping?
     
  4. ddschicks

    ddschicks Out Of The Brooder

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    It looks Great! I'd almost say it's cuter than my own house!!:lau
     
    Hamiam likes this.
  5. Hamiam

    Hamiam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2017
    Cottondale, Texas
    My Coop
    I have 12 . The trailer is 8' x 4', run is 12' x 24'.
     
  6. Hamiam

    Hamiam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2017
    Cottondale, Texas
    My Coop
    Thanks! I'll have to see if you've posted pics of yours in the past. I love looking at other's chicken coops.
    Years ago, my husband built me a chicken tractor from our son's old radio flyer wagon. We loved it, but it was heavy. This new one is easy to hook up to my side by side 4 wheeler & move around. It's the run panels now that I can't move by myself. But, my husband works 4 on & 4 off & we just figured we can move the operation every 4 days & should work fine.
    Our old chicken tractor was much easier to clean though. There is a space between the wire of the trailer & the hardware wire wrapped around it that traps any poop/straw/pine shavings. I had planned on putting beding over the vinyl flooring but it's too crazy to clean out. So, plan B is remove the flooring each day & give a rinse with the hose then put back in. I just hate the girls having to walk in poop. I make sure to get up early to let them out in the run as soon as possible. I do let them out of the run when I'm outside with them & the dog. Maybe when they're bigger I won't worry as much. Good news is this tractor is maximum security at night & we all sleep soundly.
     
  7. Leahs Mom

    Leahs Mom Chicken Obsessed

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    I see you're in Texas so I'll bet your birds go outside most days during the winter. I'm in Northern IN, so I have to have a larger indoor space if I keep that many.


    I haven't posted my coops in a coop thread or coop article, but I have shown photos in the Indiana thread and the Natural Chicken Keeping thread.

    In my original house that I call the "little house", I have vinyl flooring too. I just put wood shavings (from tractor supply) down. I rake them around to cover up any poos, and keep building them up, covering the poos for a couple weeks. Then we take them out.

    In my setup they go right into the run to build up a healthy deep litter. (My run gate was mostly open so they could range around...only shut them in when needed.) When there's not a permanent run, I put them either on the compost pile or garden depending on the season.

    Looks like our albums are not back yet so I'll post a couple photos. We got this shed from Habit for Humanity if we moved it ourselves...if I remember correctly it was $250.

    Then my husband did some "remodeling" on the inside so we have an area to walk in separate from where the chickens can go.

    IMG_7350.JPG


    This is looking inside as we're working on it. You can see the vinyl flooring and part of the divider walls. There to the left is a nest box that we can go inside to open. All the interior walls are hardware cloth and are as predator-proof as possible. Nest box also has a predator=proof latch. That way we can leave the front doors clipped open during the summer both day and night since it was placed in an area with no shade and can get very hot in there.
    wall shot perspective 2.jpg

    Nest box from the chicken side. :)
    In the Nest Boxes (l).jpg

    Just inside we have 2 areas that can be shut off from each other for brooding or if a bird or 2 needs to be separated due to bad behavior or injury but still be in with the others.
    New Wall 1.jpg


    This is the stationary run on the house. I only put a lightweight bird netting over the top for hawk protection. They were locked inside at night for predator safety. We have 2 pop doors on this - one from each side. You can see the deep litter in there.
    Kennel Run from Back 2.jpg


    I now have my flock using a pole barn with kennels I got on craigslist inside that I had set up for them one winter for more winter space. Never put them back in the small house but it can house a separate flock or meat birds, etc.
     
    Caliber and Hamiam like this.
  8. Leahs Mom

    Leahs Mom Chicken Obsessed

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    PS: I love that you can easily hook that up and move it!

    Are you familiar with electric movable netting? You could very likely move that by yourself, but it wouldn't have a top cover from hawk protection. There are ways to accomplish that, however :)
     
  9. Hamiam

    Hamiam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2017
    Cottondale, Texas
    My Coop
    Love your coop set up. Thanks for the pics in the post above. Seems your husband is talented in the carpentry field too. The first chicken tractor my husband made was suppose to be small. We ended up naming it the chicken condo!
    Yes, we hymned & hawed about the electric fence/poultry netting, but in the end, decided on the dog kennel.
    My husband doesn't know it yet, but I'm getting some great ideas for my future flock/housing.
     
  10. Leahs Mom

    Leahs Mom Chicken Obsessed

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    Northern Indiana
    I use the electric netting and I LOVE it. I have plenty of property, but when I want them to stay in a certain area it's great. And I can move it myself which means I get it done when I want it done :p

    There is an area where we garden that I let the birds out onto in the spring before it's planted and the fall when it's done. I use the netting around there but I usually don't use the electric on that part - just the fence. I love that I can easily put it wherever I want and then remove it.

    That garden is out in the open so this year I rigged up a tarp for a hawk cover. They are using it much more than when I don't have it up. I always put out some yard footstools/tables for them to go under and a dog house we got for $5 on the side of the road too, but they seem to feel much saver with the tarp.

    This is the electric netting and the temporary tarp setup. I used the step-in fence stakes to hold it up and the regular fence on the back end.
    DSC_0002.JPG

    The barn behind there is where they are living right now. DSC_0020.JPG

    Here's where it's electric...behind their little wooded area. Good peace of mind from dogs, fox or other potential predators :)
    DSC_0016.JPG
     

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