Anyone actually MOVE their Tractor very often?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cnjtnt, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. cnjtnt

    cnjtnt Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 17, 2009
    Federal Way, WA
    For those of you with Chicken Tractors, do you actually move it often? I've looked at gobs and gobs of pictures of tractors, with wheels, without wheels, A-frams, detachable runs, etc. But I keep thinking they can't be all that easy to actually move. And if they aren't easy to move it will end up not being used (as have coop w/ large run).

    We want to use a chicken tractor to build up soil for new garden beds (Chicken Tractor by Lee & Foreman has great info on doing this). We actually already built a Catawba Coop A-Frame which we/our chickens don't like - looks great, but the functionality just isn't there and it is HEAVY (it'd be good for bantams so no insult intended - and great learning experience). I've drown up my own plans to include all the easy access stuff I want but I keep thinking about how to revise them to add wheels, put it on a cart, make it so the hen-house detaches and is smaller/lighter/easier to move. All those variations.

    Any input from those of you who have tractors and move them - things you like or would change if you had it to do over again would be great! Thanks so much!
     
  2. HLAC

    HLAC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 24, 2009
    Central Utah
    I was moving mine every two days but then we got so much rain that I couldn't move it without really tearing up the yard. So then it went to once a week or so. (mine needs a small tractor to move it)

    With the winter coming, I'm thinking about moving it onto an unused concrete pad we have and leaving it there until spring. I'm afraid the skids it's on will freeze to the ground and the yard will get messed up more or the frame will get torn up if I try to move it all winter.
     
  3. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    I move mine by hand - almost every day. There is a page devoted to describing it on MY BYC page (link by my name).
    If I let them sit for 2 days the grass suffers, and after 3 days just expect a bare patch for a while [​IMG]

    If I move them daily the grass recovers pretty quickly and you can't even tell that I have chickens trying to destroy it!
     
  4. mr_shinn

    mr_shinn Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 5, 2009
    Northeast Georgia
    Here is a picture of my little red chicken tractor. I move it every day all by myself:

    [​IMG]

    It is has a 3.5 ft x 8 ft footprint. It is a bit heavy (my wife cannot lift it with me on the other side), but the weight may help to keep the predators out. I just pick up one side and move it four feet and then move the other side four feet to fresh grass. When I have to move it a long distance (to start a new grazing pattern), I have a burly neighbor help me and its no problem.
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Lordy, I had to move mine daily! The ffew times I was not trying to sort of preserve lawn under it, I left it in place for a week or more, but really a week was about the limit before things were too bare and packed-dirt for the chickens to seem happy with it. (If I'd added straw or bedding and done built-up litter in the run part of it, I could probably have left it a bit longer, but would have had one heck of a time getting it to MOVE after that!)

    Sold it (to a rabbitkeeper, actually) last summer, don't regret it in the least. If I only owned 3-4 hens total I would probably keep it, but it was not worth that much work for only a part of the chicken population here.

    JMHO,

    Pat
     
  6. Harrietsmum

    Harrietsmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 17, 2009
    Hamilton, New Zealand
    They need to be moved almost daily. If it is a bit heavy, put a child's skateboard underneath the back when you want to move it. It will roll no trouble.
     
  7. Bellasmom

    Bellasmom Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2009
    I have 2 chickens and it depends on the weather as to how often we move them. I thought I had them where they would stay for a few weeks but we had another spring come up in the yard, so they will be moved this weekend hopefully. I have their runs layered with straw.

    This summer I was able to leave them about a week. My husband has to move both of my tractors so we do it when they are out free ranging.
     
  8. hucklehound

    hucklehound Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 3, 2009
    I dislike my tractor now...
    I WAY underestimated the amount of poo 5 chickens can make. I also designed my tractor with the door on the front (bad) cause to push it forward to a new spot, i have to first move the run part, then I have to walk through the poo (duh) to push the coop part up to meet it. It would've been much smarter to have put the door on the side.

    the yard is getting covered in poo patties despite my high pressure hosing. Today a poo patty mysteriously appeared at my work [​IMG]
    [​IMG] I'm going to build a stationary coop/run area with sand...
     
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I move mine every day or two. It's made from an old trampoline frame, so it's not very heavy.
     
  10. lauriruth

    lauriruth Chillin' With My Peeps

    cnjtnt - i too, built the old catawba coop last summer....hc, that thing is heavy! i take the sides off, move it a couple of feet on one end, then repeat the process on the other end till i've zig-zagged over about 5ft. i also find it it extremely difficult to get under it to fill the feeder, waterer, sand box, etc. i'm thinking of building a permanent sturdy 3-ft., screened-in base to put it on and just leave the dang thing in one place! throw some sand in the bottom and call it DONE! that would put the roost at about eye level. much easier to tend to! any thoughts on this?[​IMG]
     

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