1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Anyone successfully used chicken tractors in predator territory?

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by babalubird, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

    410
    1
    129
    Jul 21, 2008
    Just wondered if it's possible to design any kind of chicken tractor that's practical for small farm production and can be moved every day for rotational grazing/fertilizing. If you have such a chicken tractor that is predator proof, can you share your design/suggestions, maybe pictures?

    Our farm is in pretty rough country (hogs, coyotes, bobcats, hawks, etc.) so want to know if I'm chasing an impossibility.

    Thanks.

    Connie
     
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    What's your climate like? Are you looking for year round housing for layers or seasonal for raising broilers? Both of those will have a big impact on the style you need. How many chickens are you wanting to house?

    I think there are a lot of people using tractors commercially. It's not that hard to build housing that will keep most of those predators out. You just need the right building materials and plans. The one I'm not sure about is hogs. I'm wondering if that gets into the area of needing electric fencing? Hopefully, someone more familiar with feral hogs can comment.
     
  3. Jajika

    Jajika Chillin' With My Peeps

    523
    10
    161
    Dec 24, 2007
    Northern California
    Good strong hardwire cloth is good for keeping
    daytime and nighttime predators out.

    Also, for nocturnal predators, NiteGuard lights are excellent.

    I've been using them for years and they really work. Won't help in the day
    and you still keep strong wire.
     
  4. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

    410
    1
    129
    Jul 21, 2008
    We want three separate tractors, one for muscovy ducks, year-round, one for egg layer that probably will be occupied year-round, and one for broilers, seasonal, probably avoiding the worst of the winter, maybe even worst of the summer. Our farm is central TX, zone 8, between Waco and Corsicana. Winters are very windy, with just a few freezing nights, though that can be as low as 19 degrees, the very worst. Summers can get up to 100's several days in a row. "Very dry, hot July, August and part of Sept.

    We hope to rotational graze, though I know poultry need supplemental feed, much like Salatin does. I don't think his low-built broiler tractors will work for us though because the low tin roof would really bake them in the heat.

    Thanks. Hope that helps.

    Connie
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,465
    2,094
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:Modify Salatins design such that roof is ridged and keep open at top. As sun heats, air inside will rise out of opening sucking in cooler air from bottom sides. You might even be able to use swamp cooler affect where you are.

    Lifestock guarding dogs, if used in your rotational grazing setup would keep all but hogs, maybe them as well.
     
  6. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    10,684
    95
    321
    May 13, 2008
    Everytime I see a pic or a tractor design I say to myself............. HEY !!! where is the protection from underneath. Most of these preditors dig/burro under for their meal, and when I see a plastic PVC tractor I am like what the heck are you thinking. I plan to build some this year from steel and a fully enclosed wire bottom as well, one that can be pulled or driven with my big garden/lawn mower.

    AL
     
  7. babalubird

    babalubird Chillin' With My Peeps

    410
    1
    129
    Jul 21, 2008
    Thanks everyone. You've given me hope. Connie
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,465
    2,094
    456
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:DOG, DOG, DOG will bite digger in butt so you do not have use so much imported steel! PVC photodegrades too fast.
     
  9. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    10,684
    95
    321
    May 13, 2008
    Quote:DOG, DOG, DOG will bite digger in butt so you do not have use so much imported steel! PVC photodegrades too fast.

    LOL yeah my steel supplier knows I don't do CHINA !!!!! LOL, if you ever saw Chinese steel you would laugh till your cheeks hurt.
    I also thought that I know there is an easy way to ring the tractor in some kind of protective apron, that also isn't a hinderence.

    AL
     
  10. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My BYC page has a picture of my A-frame tractor. I added wire to the bottom to prevent diggers.

    I have trapped 7 raccoons trying to get in. I have not lost any birds yet...crap I just jinxed myself. [​IMG]

    I would advise to make one with wheels.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by