Chicken Tractor for Orpingtons and Australorps - Suggestions?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Hal9000, Jan 28, 2015.

  1. Hal9000

    Hal9000 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am a new to raising chickens and have been researching chicken coops. I would like to build a Chicken Tractor to house my future chickens. The more I research the more questions I have about building the coop and what size I will need. First let me give you all some of the details.

    Climate: Live in East Tennessee about 1.5 hours from Knoxville. I would consider our climate mild. However, We have had 100+ and below 0 degree Fahrenheit days. (thankfully not in the same day or that often)
    Chickens: 5 Orphingtons and 5 Australorps
    Yard: 1 acre open field (Used to be farm land)

    I thought about free ranging the chickens but due to the chickens size and slowness, this doesn't seem to be a good idea.

    When building the Coop, how much space do I need to allow for?
    If I attach a run to the coop, does that change the rules for how much space to allow inside the coop?

    I was thinking about building a Coop that was 4 feet wide, 5 feet deep, and 5 feet tall. With a run that was 4 feet wide and 10-12 ft long. However, I fear that the Coop height is too tall and not wide enough for the type of chickens I am getting.

    Ultimately, I want a good coop and run that will house my chickens comfortable, is easily portable, easy to clean, and doesn't cost me a fortune to build. I am open to suggestions or better ideas. The chicks come at the end of February/early march so time is ticking for me to get something together. :)

    EDIT: I just found this Chicken Tractor: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/on-golden-coop. Depending on actual dimensions, something like this might work. I would want the height of the run at least 24 inches.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  2. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    The basic rule of thumb is a MINIMUM of 4 sq feet per bird in the coop and 10 sq feet per bird in the run. So the coop you're talking about will hold 5 chickens, max and the run will hold 4. If you're going to keep them in the run exclusively or even most of the time, you need to make it even bigger. My coop/run is a little bigger than the size you're talking about and it is FULL with 6 Orpingtons (and mine are only 4 months old and still have a good deal of growing to do!). There's no way this would be workable with double the number of birds, even though I free range them as much as possible.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2015
  3. Hal9000

    Hal9000 Out Of The Brooder

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    Based on the link I posted earlier I redesigned my tractor but if they need 10 sqft a piece for the run, I am not sure a tractor is feasible anymore. I would like to be able to move it myself. Not require a Simi Truck. *Sigh* I guess it is back to the drawing board.
     
  4. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    For that many birds, you need a tractor which is just a coop w/a seperate movable run.
     
  5. Hal9000

    Hal9000 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG][​IMG]




    This is one of my redesigns from last night. Excuse the basic shapes as this was just a mockup. The upper area would be the Coop and the lower area would be the run. If I did my math correctly, the Coop is 24 sqft which will hold 6 chickens and the run is 48sqft which will hold 4.8 chickens. I don't think my current design will work if I make it much larger. However, I really want to go with an all in one unit. I will probably let them free range when someone is out there with them but not when we are not at home or there is bad weather. Plus side is that I work from home so I am home a lot. I may need to rethink the number of chickens we are getting or become really creative with a design.
     
  6. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    If your design is paramount (mine was too, given my limited space) then it's probably best to stick with it and select your flock size to suit it.
     
  7. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 3 australorpe's, 2 buff orpingtons, and 1 golden buff....and my coop is a 4'x8'. You definitely will need more room for your birds. I am going to build a couple of 8ft tunnels (simple design) and have a spot where they attach to the run and have a separate 8x8 box screened in with a partial roof for shade, and let them go there from time to time and move it around the yard as need be. 8x8 so that it is just a simple procedure of screwing 2x4x8's together. :)
     
  8. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The problem with your math is you can't let your run size factor into the actual coop size. When you have severe weather or say a really heavy snow....the hens may not get out of the coop for the day. So the 4sq ft ensures enough room for them in that scenario. Less than that, and you might have some pecking/bullying going on in the coop due to being crowded.
    Definitely make the run as big as you can possibly for the girls...the bigger the better and happier they will be. For my 6, I have a run that is 8x12
     
  9. Hal9000

    Hal9000 Out Of The Brooder

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    [​IMG]

    Well, It is becoming a beast. I am going to have to do some calculations to see how heavy this monstrosity will be. While the image does not show it, the bottom will be framed out in wood. Once I figure out the actually design, I will go back in and add the framing.
     
  10. Wxguru

    Wxguru Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Looks similar to mine. I framed it out with sruds...16" on center and then used pallets for walls and old fence pickets for finishing some stuff up. Here is mine and run I am working to finish now.
    [​IMG]
     

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