Chicken Tractor or Coop?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by WildflowerAcres, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. WildflowerAcres

    WildflowerAcres New Egg

    Dec 12, 2013
    Hi There,
    We are getting chickens this year and are trying to decide if we should build a chicken tractor or coop. What are the Pros and Cons of both?
    Thanks so much for your input! :)
  2. c2chicks

    c2chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    More info about your situation would be help, many chickens do you want? what is your climate? how much land do you have? what is your predator situation? I have had both and much prefer the coop and large run. We only have 3 girls but even with just a few: the tractor was a pain to move, every time we did move it--we would hose the area and rake it really well...the dogs would still dig it up in search of "one more bite of poop". I didn't feel secure regarding predators (neighbors dogs, my dogs). It just wasn't for us. A lot of folks LOVE their tractors, I'm sure they'll chime in ;)
  3. Biologrady

    Biologrady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2012
    We don't have a tractor either... We put the coop and permanent run where we didn't care about the grass, and now as adults the girls go out into the woods and lawn somewhat supervised within in view if the house. When they were younger, we did have them in an additional enclosure ( chain link dog kennel type) that we could move every few days. ... At first I actually shooed them into a pet carrier to take them from the coop to the run, and fed them treats when they got there, later they just learned to follow me there. It's been great, since we can set it up in sun or shade, on grass or compost or garden, whatever. It keeps out daytime predators (dogs and hawks), and we just have them report back to the main coop when we feed them and tuck them in for the night.
    I am a firm believer in keeping my options open!
  4. DallasCriftins

    DallasCriftins Chillin' With My Peeps

    Tractors are portable and very versatile especially if you make it big!
    I hatched 30 birds in the spring and they were in here from about 6 weeks till I knew which were hens and which were Roasters
    9 of them (Roos) are still in here every night as I keep them separate from the hens




    1 person likes this.
  5. Bitterroot

    Bitterroot Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 22, 2012
    That is one gorgeous tractor, Dallas!
  6. DallasCriftins

    DallasCriftins Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you that was built in the spring from a 4M x 2M Polytunnel frame the coop has a 2"Sq mesh floor below the perches so very little poo to clean up each day.

    I also built a Dalek from the kids old climbing frame


    The Ducks get this Plastic shed which was on skids for while


    And my Ponies and Sheep share a field shelter and this old Metal shed also on skids




  7. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    DallasCriftins I love your "Dalek" - absolutely brilliant!
  8. Bullitt

    Bullitt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2012
    That is a great chicken tractor.

    But can't animals, like raccoons, foxes, coyotes, etc., dig under to get into the chicken tractor?
  9. res

    res Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is my tractor... It is made by a small Mennonite owned family business in Kansas. I purchased it via Craigslist from a lady near Middleburg, VA, so I know the company does ship the tractors. My husband and I are from Kansas, and we have visited the family's display at the State Fair for about the last decade, so they aren't a new product.

    I've used it since August 2012 and really like it. It is super simple to move around and clean. I can easily free-range out of it, or keep the hens locked in. I've even used it as a brooder with a heat lamp. Love it! The sides are polymax? (thick plastic channel cardboard) and can be removed for max ventilation. There are also "sides" that can be installed on the bottom "winterize" it.

    I've had 8 hens in it at once, but they were only using it to roost at night and lay eggs. Otherwise, they were free ranging. If I had to keep hens in it 24/7, I probably would only have 4 or 5 max.



  10. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps


    These girls are slumming it compared to the others who have replied. Coop or tractor will depend on your situation. We got chickens to aid in the garden, pets with benefits, etc, etc. The coop & pen area is made of EMT covered with 1/2" x 1" welded wire on the top, sides & under coop, rest of bottom is 2" x 4" fencing. A small coop (8 sq ft) sits inside of the pen. Not technically a tractor, it doesn't have wheels since it would be impossible to maneuver it around the garden. Unfortunately it is fairly heavy and difficult to move in and around the garden so I have to pull the coop out to lighten the load. While I think this is is our best option for housing these girls, it is a pain in the neck. Since I have to remove the coop anyway & it is too small for 4 hens anyway, (chicken math) the plan is to build the proper sized coop come spring that will butt up to the pen.

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