Chicken tractor attracting predators?

Erin80

Songster
Apr 16, 2017
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We have a few acres, but it's kind of a weird set up. Our house is up on a hill with an "upper yard" that is fenced in and a very good size for our kids and dog. This is also where my laying hens live - their coop is in half of our (huge) shed, and we have an enclosed run for them that runs along side the shed.
Our meat birds would be living in our "lower yard" - you take a bunch of stairs down to a huge grassy field that leads to a river. We have a shed down there too, that would be totally secure from predators and is a great size....but they'd have no access to outside since they don't want to go down ramps - and our shed is raised. Building a tractor is an option - but we have coyotes, raccoons, etc...all the predators you'd expect to see out in the country. I feel like even if we build it super secure, the predators would be coming around non stop. What would you do? Use the shed and have a lot of cleaning for 8 weeks and no outdoor access but not attract predators.....or build a tractor and attract predators?
I'm not worried about our laying hens. They are super secure up there in their run - nobody is getting in!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I love September
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
46,198
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Yes, my vet, also a neighbor, tried for a few years with meat birds and movable tractors, his pens were routinely destroyed and birds eaten. So your tractors would have to be very secure or surrounded by electric fencing, though some predators may jump or go under a electric fence not properly spaced, and high enough.
 

jdw

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 8, 2011
30
9
84
we have a dozen tractors , built with hardware cloth 1/2x1/2 . we raise hundreds of cornish cross broilers yearly as well as turkeys and ducks. we live in predator central. your tractors are not going to be attracting the predators the birds are. we have just started to use electrified poultry netting to further protect our birds. in the 10 plus years we have been raising our own birds we have never have a predator open up a tractor. our only birds that have been lost have been when we let them have access to the full pasture and are unprotected. this is my opinion only but i would not raise birds in a closed barn.might as well buy commercial birds at that point. raise them in a tractor, your birds will benefit greatly from the foraging. although at times it may seem like baiing the ocean out with a teaspoon , practice predator control. my 2 cents. if you build a tractor use hardware cloth. chicken wire is useless against predators
 

Erin80

Songster
Apr 16, 2017
770
854
221
Yes hardware cloth for sure. We talked about it this morning and we are going to build a super secure tractor. My husband is amazing at building and constructing, so between the two of us I’m hoping this works out. I’m really excited for our first 25.
 

jdw

Chirping
8 Years
Jun 8, 2011
30
9
84
Yes hardware cloth for sure. We talked about it this morning and we are going to build a super secure tractor. My husband is amazing at building and constructing, so between the two of us I’m hoping this works out. I’m really excited for our first 25.

I hope so for you as well. there is nothing as satisfying as growing your own food. you know exactly where it came from.good luck to you.
 

lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
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If the lower area of your yard is fairly level, I'd build an 8 x 12 cattle panel tractor, covered with 1/2" hdw cloth, with attached skirt. You could then move it around. I would add an extra layer of yard security with Electro poultry fencing by Premier1. Your charger can be powered by household current, 12V deep cycle battery or solar panel. However, you will have to monitor fencing to be sure that weed growth is cleared away from it. And, an electric fence is only as good as the ground rod(s) that you have attached to it.

In the future, if you decide to not grow meat birds, the CP tractor can be used as a green house, spare coop... or storage shed.
 

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