Brainstorming for a Chicken Tractor

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dandelion007, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Dandelion007

    Dandelion007 Songster

    Dec 7, 2008
    Durant, OK

    I'm getting ready to build a Chicken Tractor. Here are my basic ideas for the "Green Gardens Chicken Condo":

    Two story design with a run under on the bottom story with large wheels to make garden terrain moves.

    I'm thinking of using horse panels to get a study but safe playground for the girls. (I live in the country with lots of creatures that love chickens too.)

    Floor of run also from horse panels to keep digging intruders out.

    I want to move it around in my garden during the winter so they can provide the fertilizer distribution themselves. It's not that I don't enjoy the shoveling... I'll miss it. Really! [​IMG]

    Wire floor on second floor to easily allow droppings to fall through. I'm in Southern Oklahoma. I'm not too worried about the cold. I can use a garden hose to dislodge any trapped fertilizer.

    Hen boxes easily accessible from outside with individual lift up lids. Just in case anybody tries to make a run for it.

    Short in height because wind can be a problem. Don't want a blow over! Traumatized chickens don't lay.

    Plywood trap door to slide in horizontally from outside to keep chooks from running to ground to investigate moves. I want to move during dusk after they go to bed.

    Larger door on top and bottom (dutch door) to easily access inside just in case. I want everything to be done from outside but things do come up.

    Built in feeder and calcium boxes with outside lids accessible on second floor. Water system would also be included in the kitchen area.

    Large tires to make moves roll easy.

    Does anybody have any suggestions or experience to share? Have I missed anything? I'm at the drawing board so I figured this is the best time to develop...

  2. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    I am purchasing an eglu cube. It is realy just a good sized chicken tractor. I love it and decided to get it even though it is spendy, but if I were handier I think I would make something similar myself out of wood. you might google it and look it over for ideas you could incorporate.

    Someone in Washington on the washington craigslist (snohomish) has done that and made up some realy cute ones they sell, although they are not cheap either.

    I personally like :

    That it has nice hose off wooden (now plastic) slatted floors (these seem more comfortable to roost on than wire) with pullout trays underneath like a birdcage so you can clean droppings easily and daily.

    That the wheels are big enough to roll over yard terrain and the handles placed where it is easy to move.

    I like that the house part is box shaped rather than triangular.

    I like that the house opens so wide for cleaning out, and sterilizing in the sun.

    I like the way the inside is configured so that there is roost and egglaying space inside, and the running around pecking at stuff space, is outside.

    I like that if needed I could move it, put papers down under the run and have it temporarily on the porch by the house, in the garage, or under a carport for extra shelter or to be near electricity if I had to (for instance if we had unusually severe weather).

    Good luck and show us your finished tractor when you get it done.
  3. hoosier

    hoosier Songster

    "Water system would also be included in the kitchen area."
    I just loved that line! [​IMG]

    If you have weasels, they could get into the tractor through the horse panels.
    Also, be prepared for those on the second story to poo on those on the ground floor.

    I must say I like a lot of your ideas.
  4. Dandelion007

    Dandelion007 Songster

    Dec 7, 2008
    Durant, OK
    I'm assuming the chickens would spend most of their day during the day on the ground and their nights on the second floor. I can handle a few spots on the chickens when I don't have to shovel poo. My parents pasture their chickens in their fenced garden during the winter and it works out great. However, a few of my dogs like to dig and since they do keep the raccoons, skunks and owls away it is good and bad. (Don't know if there's any weasels around???) I could keep from having a wire floor except for one dachshund that I have. He only thinks of girls and chicks. And he digs quickly for either. [​IMG] I've had a boxer / dachshund mix puppy (thankfully just one in the litter) and a whole first generation chicken tractor slaughtered (5 hens) because of him. The only thing is he has been finished in the show ring by my daughter. Sometimes, I feel like I'm [​IMG].

    That's why I'm putting more thought into the "Second Generation Chicken Tractor!" [​IMG]

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