Building a chicken tractor and need some advice please :)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by CandiceN, Jun 4, 2011.

  1. CandiceN

    CandiceN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2011
    NH
    Hi all!

    We have to get our tractor finished this weekend (it's a converted dog house connected to a run we're building). Here's my question - has anyone ever used something like plywood to cover a run? It will only be about 2 feet tall, so I know we need something strong. We were going to use hardware cloth all around the run (and still will on the sides) but then I thought maybe we could use something to keep them protected from the rain and eventually the snow (we're in NH) if we put something solid on top. Is there a better material? The top will run about 8' x 4', which appears to be exactly the right size for plywood so I thought maybe that would work...

    Any thoughts? Would it rot too quickly? Is there something better you can suggest?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2011
  2. jamband

    jamband Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 26, 2011
    is the roof going to be flat or sloped? also a flat plywood roof would rot in a few years. You probably also need to consider snow load in your area?? I would typically say metal roofing supported by purlins. My only hesitation with that is it being 2 ft tall......There will be sharp edges and if you have children?? Are you aesthetically opposed to hardware cloth and a tarp?

    If you can slope the roof or A frame it you could use ply thoroughly painted with exterior paint or sealed with a wood sealer...or better yet shingled.
     
  3. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    If painted, the plywood should last awhile.

    I think it would make it sort of dark under there because it is only 2 feet high. I would be inclined to cover just the half of the run next to the nest box area with plywood so there is an area that feels safer and offers good shade, but they can still sun themselves.
     
  4. CandiceN

    CandiceN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 30, 2011
    NH
    I'm not against using a tarp, it's going to be in the backyard so no one will be able to see it but a few nosy neighbors [​IMG] So maybe we could put hardware cloth on the entire run and then secure a tarp on the half nearest the coop to keep them cooler in the summer and more protected in winter? Where should the food and water be? Inside the coop or can it be outside in the run? The coop is fairly small as we only have 2 chickens [​IMG]
    Thanks!
     
  5. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    Idaho
    Water should always be outside the coop in my opinion. Food needs to be dry, under cover at least. It is good to have some space between them both for keeping the water out of the food and so no hen can guard or block both at the same time and more than one hen can get to each at a time if they want to.
     

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