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Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by raggie6653, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. raggie6653

    raggie6653 Hatching

    Sep 21, 2010
    I can not make up my mind a chicken tractor or just a plain chicken coop I am just on planning on 6 laying hens its just me and my wife , are the prefab chickens coops on ebay work or is it cheaper to build your own .

  2. BWKatz

    BWKatz Songster

    May 22, 2010
    MUCH cheaper to build ur own. I have a tractor & love it. [​IMG]
  3. bburn

    bburn Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    Personally we built our own....we had scrap lumber, we had metal roofing from a barn that fell down...my DH even had hand rails left over we used for our roosts....all attached to a chain link dog pen that we surrounded with more of the metal roofing from the barn. Pretty safe. He even had severl rolls of wire that we used to cover the run in. To date I have bought hardware cloth for the window and to put on the chain link gate we used for the fair weather door. We had an old door that my husband installed to use for bad weather...it has yet to be closed.

    So, I think if you build smart and look for deals you can do it cheaper.....But then I am married to a semi-horder.....lol. And he is a great builder too....so it also depends on your skills.

    Oh, and then I built a tractor...with his left over 2x4's. I had to buy the pvc and the hardware cloth and also a big roll of 1" welded wire. I am using it for everything I can find to use it for....the end of the tractor....to make cages for the chicken swap....I am sure I will need more chickens!
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    You get a LOT more for your money if you build your own rather than the stock, prefab coops; they are always much smaller than the picture makes them look and generally not real sturdy. Or you could find someone who builds them in your area, probably cheaper than prefab, but more expensive than you doing it.

    As for tractor or solid coop, for me that would depend on your area. I wouldn't go with a tractor if I lived in an area that gets cold winters. I think they're nice for milder areas though. Many folks who get cold winters use them for spring, summer, and fall, but have separate winter quarters. But that sounds more costly to me...
  5. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Songster

    Jul 8, 2010
    Constantia, NY
    Also, you can check Craig's List for sheds, coops, playhouses, etc. Sometimes, you can find a really good deal. I believe anything can be transformed into a chicken coop. It's amazing what imaginations people have here on this forum. Love it.
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I built a "tractor" as my first coop, allll by myself. Nobody told me (ahead of time) that 2x4s are heavy suckers, and so is 3/4 inch plywood. So my "tractor" is a permanent A-Frame coop - I cannot move it. I've since built a more traditional coop - four walls, a roof, all one "floor" - and find it's much more efficient for a whole lot of reasons important to ME.

    Not a lot of head room in the upstairs portion of the tractor for chickens to be able to roost. Door on the downstairs into the pen area needs to be big enough for person to get in easily in order to capture chickens on occasion. Even so. slithering on one's belly through chicken poop is not pleasant. There needs to be a solid corner - not just wire all the way around - so the chickens have a safe corner to run to when under attack by predators. They're not smart enough to go to the middle away from all walls.... so that solid wooden corner is imperative. (I have that.)

    My A-Frame is currently used by the chickens as a hang-out, downstairs, especially during rainy days. The upstairs nest boxes are used by the layers, but nobody stays in the A-Frame at night - they all go to other coops. I did use it as Broody Segregation, when a hen went broody in one of the nest boxes. That was useful.

    And it's a good "grow out" coop for adolescent chickens, because they can be sequestered there, but still visible to others to get to know each other through the wire without injury as they get bigger. Once they're released from it weeks later, the bigger, grown up chickens already "know" them and therefore the pecking order issues are far diminished.

    With a traditional, box style coop, square or rectangular, the interior space is much more easily utilized. Better options for roost bars, easier to clear (in my opinion), no slanted "hatches" to leak in rainy weather, and physical access is far improved (if the coop is tall enough for a person to walk into, even crouched). And a permanent installation is easier to secure against predators, too.

    AND, it's a whole lot easier to hang or display cute coop signs on vertical walls!
  7. Moabite

    Moabite Songster

    Feb 24, 2010
    I made a coop out of a truck topper. The topper sets on a 2x4 constructed run. The coop is the front half of the topper with a trap door. The trap door has a walking plank attached. It wouldn't take much to turn it into a tractor by adding some wheels and handles. Sorry, don't have a pic.

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