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Chicken tractor newb question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by hanselong, May 20, 2010.

  1. hanselong

    hanselong In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    At 7.5 weeks, my 3 chicks (EE, Silkie, Dorking) are now in a tractor in the back yard.

    Although I'm observing them daily to figure out how to re-design the tractor to make sure they're comfortable and healthy, I have some questions:

    1. My silkie doesn't seem to like ramps... Is this normal? Are there tips on making ramps that are easy for chickens to use?

    2. Although there's an area that I have covered with shavings, and there's a roost that my EE and Dorking likes to use, my chicks seem to prefer sleeping on the ground at night... Should I be concerned? Should I redesign the tractor to help ensure they don't sleep on the ground?

    3. Currently, my tractor is mostly transparent, letting a lot of light in. There's an area that has a little bit of shade. How much shade do chickens need? (It only goes up to 70-ish degrees during the day here at this time).

    Thank you very much in advance for your feedback, suggestions, and comments!


    Hansel Ong
  2. hetty

    hetty In the Brooder

    Apr 15, 2010
    one of my hens 20 weeks she is now, gest on the bottom run and then turns around, tried putting food up it, not worked the others come out to eat it. I got into a bad habbit and picked her up and put her in, she is so funny now she waits at the bottom looks and clucks at me as if to say come on pick me up then , i want some of that food as well. lazy thing.

    my hens have made there mud bath just in front of the door to the run, tried moving it but they just go back.
  3. hanselong

    hanselong In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    @hetty: Thanks for your reply! What breed is your "lazy" hen if I may ask? I don't think my hens are making a mud bath... I generally pour play sand into a tray and let them use it as their dust bath. Do your hens sleep on the ground or on shavings? Do they seem to need a lot of shade?
  4. KKatknap

    KKatknap Songster

    Nov 15, 2009
    Albany, OR
    I had to put this last batch of chicks in their "sleeping porch" every night for probably a week or so before they realized they were capable of getting there on their own! Others have figured it out right away. I think it may depend on if you have one or two adventuresome ones to show the way. [​IMG]

    I could be wrong, but it seems like I read somewhere on here that silkies don't roost(?) I don't have any, so again, I could be loony...but you might check it out. Either way, I don't think I would worry about them sleeping on the ground. As long as the tractor is predator proof, that shouldn't be a problem.

    I don't know how hot it gets where you live, but I would try to move the tractor under shade during hot times of the year. I tend to be concerned about overheating.

    You sound like you are a good chicken parent. Your chicks are lucky to be with you! [​IMG]
  5. hanselong

    hanselong In the Brooder

    Apr 1, 2010
    Seattle, WA
    @KKatknap: Thank you very much for your reply! Maybe I'll start putting my Silkie into the "sleeping porch" every night, too! I'm in the process of redesigning their tractor, so I'll be sure to add shades and such so they don't overheat, and I'll stop worrying about them sleeping on the ground [​IMG] Thank you also for your words of encouragement!
  6. clothdiaperingmom

    clothdiaperingmom Songster

    Feb 7, 2010
    Sweetwater, TX
    3 of my older chicks, about 3 months old, still sleep on the ground. The others out of that bunch roost.

    Mine are completely in the shade, under trees, but it gets really really hot here.

    Good luck!

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