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Chicken tractor I'm building

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by markb, May 1, 2008.

  1. markb

    markb Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2008
    Saint Louis, MO
    I am going to start keeping 2 chickens. Sounds like a good experience for the kids. So after looking at different tractors online i have decided to dive in. This design is giving me about 55 Sq/F. Although I am a bit confused how to build the House part of it.

    Were would i place the nest? It looks like on here some people are using 5 gallon buckets for the hens to lay eggs in. Do I need to Put in a few perches? any help would be great.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. cockadoodlemom

    cockadoodlemom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2007
    Texas
    Have you tried the search engine on here cause there are a lot of people who have shared pics just like you. Sorry if this doesnt help.
     
  3. babyboy1_mom

    babyboy1_mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 13, 2008
    Louisiana
    Sorry that I cannot help with this either. I am getting ready to start one myself. Some experienced chicken folks will answer you soon.

    I just wanted to say [​IMG]

    Dorothy
     
  4. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Ok, is the 55 sq. ft. include the outdoor section? Where are you located? Do you have heavy/cold winters? You will need at least 4 sq. ft. inside if they can't get out during winter months. Otherwise they may beat on each other badly. Also, if you order chicks be prepared for an "extra" surprise [​IMG]. It's better to have more room than not enough.
    We built a tractor with 20 sq.ft on the inside. We insulated it, and shingled the roof which added a lot of weight and so it's a beast to move. We have decided to keep the tractor where it is for this reason. So pick a good spot in case you run into the same issue. I would put it where it's protected from elements, and shady in the summer. The inside of a coop can heat up pretty fast and stresses the hens out.
    As far as inside. You only need one nest, and at that an 10"x10" area is big enough you could probably do a bit smaller if needed, people use many things for nests. You can build a box or even use a milk crate filled straw. You can get that from your local store. They will roost at night so you should put one inside. Underneath the roost you will find piles of poo so make sure these piles are not going into food, nests, or water and easy to reach for cleaning. The roost should be off the floor a bit. I would say at least 8 " off the ground. I know there isn't as much room in a tractor so you'll have to be creative. I am hoping the picture I have of our feeder we made for the inside comes though. It takes up no floor space and eliminates the mess. We keep it on the door for easy access. We used PVC piping and parts to make it. We cut a section out for them to feed through. It's worked out great. But I would use a pipe that is at least 3"-4" diameter. You'd be surprised how much they eat!
    What breeds are you getting?

    I hope this has helped. you.

    [​IMG]


    Good luck.
     
  5. markb

    markb Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2008
    Saint Louis, MO
    The House is going to be about 15 Sq/F. Wow that Feeder looks great. I am going to have to build one!

    We are in saint louis MO.

    Only one nest for two hens?

    We haven't picked a Breed yet.
     
  6. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    Yeah, one nest. You don't need to equal nests to birds. They should only be in the nest to lay the egg so they will take turns. I have 5 hens and 2 nests. They will sleep on the roost. About 10" of roost length per bird. So try and put in a 20" long piece of wood that will act as the roost for sleep time.
    Is your tractor going to be put up on legs of some kind? That will give them room under the tractor for shelter in the rain.
    It's looking good though.
    You will get a ton of feedback on folks here that will tell you what breed to get. Decide if you want them for eggs, or meat. I'm guessing you want eggs. My personal suggestion to you would be find a dual purpose bird. These are full size standars birds. Or get a Bantam. You will get eggs from bantams but they will be small for sure but they have lots of fun breeds out there to choose from and you could fit more in the coop if you wanted them. I'm attaching a great link on breeds and all the info. to go with them.
    I have standard size birds. Barred Rock, Black Austrolorp, Deleware and Silver Laced Wyandottes. If I could get another it would be Buff Orphingtons. I'd get rid of the Deleware if I could [​IMG] but it's a pet so I won't.

    Anyway try to get them by summer. They will need full feathers to keep warm when winter sets in.
    Here's that site.
    http://www.ithaca.edu/staff/jhenderson/chooks/chooks.html
     
  7. gumpsgirl

    gumpsgirl Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Mar 25, 2008
    Virginia
    Looks great! The chickens like to roost, so I would say yes to the perches. As for the nesting boxes, you really can use anything you want. The five gallon buckets are great ideas! As for me, I am going to just use milk crates. That looks the easiest! [​IMG]

    Oh yes, I had to come back because I forgot to tell you, WELCOME TO BYC!!! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2008
  8. markb

    markb Out Of The Brooder

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    May 1, 2008
    Saint Louis, MO
    Legally i can only keep 4 chickens without a permit, Yes we want Eggs and friends. and I think we want Full sized.. I was hoping to find few 6 month - 1 year olds we could start with, and also order some chicks. That way I have more experience before winter hits. And the kids still get to enjoy chicks.


    Any thoughts?
     
  9. s6bee

    s6bee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    It's a good idea but introduction of little ones to adult ones can be tough. There is a process you need to follow for best results and would probably require a seperate run. Chickens can be mean.
     
  10. markb

    markb Out Of The Brooder

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    32
    May 1, 2008
    Saint Louis, MO
    Last edited: May 1, 2008

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