Chicken tractor floor that allows for scratching?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ddchickee, Mar 23, 2018.

  1. ddchickee

    ddchickee Hatching

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    Chicken newbie here! I am planning to build a semi-stealth chicken tractor in MO for 3 girls. I live in the suburbs but have seen hawks, raccoons, skunks, opossums, and fox in the immediate vicinity. I need my tractor to be easily moveable by two adults and it will be my girls primary home. They will be out a few hours a day when I can watch them. I want to put a floor on the tractor to discourage predators (and because it seems much easier than the wire skirt idea) but I want my chicks to be able to scratch around the lawn and munch on grass and bugs. Has anyone successfully done this? What size wire fencing/hardware cloth did you use? I am looking at a 3"x 2" opening for the floor only (please note, I will be using 1/4" opening galvanized wire for the sides.....) Do any of you think that will work (and keep out the coons/foxes?) If not, any other suggestions? Thanks in advance!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    If you want them to be able to scratch in the dirt, I wouldn't use any wire. That would be asking for bumlefoot issues.
    Can you make a building in the tractor you can lock at night so you don't have to worry about night predators?
     
    aart likes this.
  3. Shevraeth

    Shevraeth Chirping

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  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    The wire mesh skirt that extends out in all directions from the tractor that deters diggers.
     
  5. Ruralhideaway

    Ruralhideaway Crowing

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    I can see why you'd like to do this. Yet with the nature of a tractor design any minor irregularities in the ground will leave gaps that smaller predators will take full advantage of.

    Having wire skirts that lay right on the ground is just going to be safest. You can hinge them I believe. @aart I think did that as well as @squadleader.
     
    jthornton and ChickenCanoe like this.
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    The only problem with tractors (or any other pen/coop) is that weasels and mink can get into extremely tight spaces. If there is a gap as large as an inch, they'll find it.
     
    jthornton and Ruralhideaway like this.
  7. ddchickee

    ddchickee Hatching

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    Mar 23, 2018
    thanks for the info!
     

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