Chicken Tractor Pics and Questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jhill1440, Mar 3, 2008.

  1. jhill1440

    jhill1440 In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2008
    Central Texas

    Here are a few pics of the tractor. The dimensions are 5ft. wide, 5ft. high, 10ft. long. Why that, I had extra tin roof from another project that is 10ft. long. It will house 6 hens (last pic).

    Questions: I have not decided on a door type yet. For those with tractors do you close the door every night? It gets hot down here in Texas and they might want to spend some night hours outside, could be wrong. I am not worried too much about predators as I live in a city, most I have seen are squirrels.

    BTW the nest boxes will be built on to the back. And there will be a human access door on the front of the tractor.

    "In the beginning" (you can see my 7 mth old DD in the swing and the back of my 3yr old DD head)

    "I've been framed"

    Still need a door (raised bed garden in the back, and shed)

    With that left over tin

    The six little ones enjoying a nice day in their almost finished tractor

    So any suggestions on a door would be great. I think it will involve magical trickery to get it to open and close from the outside.

  2. raindrop

    raindrop Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    Cut a plywood panel to fit the opening, brace on inside for rigidity if needed, put hinges at the bottom and a latch at the top. You could put down a board at the bottom and a little one at the top to give something for the hinges and latch to attach to.
    Chickens don't do anything at night except sleep. [​IMG]
    They will look for the safest, highest roost they can get to. If you start by leaving the door shut until they get used to their coop, they will learn to go back to the little house at night. Ventilation in the roost area is very important.
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Lookin good. Since the whole tractor is enclosed, you don't have to shut the door inside. However, if you open the tractor so they can free range, you will have to close it up every night. What you may not see but may roam at night in the city are coons. Rare to see until they find food like cat food or dog food... or the chickens. Might want to think about the possibility of dogs too if your neighbors have any. Both them and coons can tear though chicken wire like it was a spider web when it comes to wanting to eat the chickens. Digging can also be a concern if coons and dogs are in your area. A wire net along the bottom may be beneficial.

    If you put a roost in the center "A" part of the frame, if it get's hot in the summer, they can roost safely in the tractor with the door closed and still be outside.

    Have fun!
  4. jhill1440

    jhill1440 In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2008
    Central Texas
    Thanks for the suggestions. They will be in the tractor and the tractor will be totally enclosed. I will have to wait and see about coons, but I bet you are right and they are there I just don't see them since they only come out at night.

    So now I don't have to fret about getting the door closed every night.

    And yes I was going to add an outdoor roost in between one of the "A" frames.

  5. tx_dane_mom

    tx_dane_mom Songster

    Sep 23, 2007
    SE Texas
    I think it looks great! Especially w/building it w/extra stuff laying around. I really appreciate you posting the pix of it's progress. I have been needing/wanting to build a tractor (tried a PVC 1...but yea, that went to poop) so this gives me a good visual of how to do one.
    Thanks! Kristi
  6. Yogiman

    Yogiman Songster

    Feb 2, 2008
    South Louisiana
    The tractor looks great and you will probably modify it to suit your needs as time goes by. But that is the fun part.
    I would love to see a pic of what appears to be a yellow lab. Looks so much like mine. Male or female?
  7. DixieDame67

    DixieDame67 Songster

    Jan 13, 2008
    Jonesbourgh Tennessee
    Hello JHill...........I am so glad i looked at this thread, as i to have the idea of building a tractor with a used swing set frame i have. Looking at yours better helps me to get a grasp on how i want mine to look.........great job !!!
  8. jhill1440

    jhill1440 In the Brooder

    Feb 7, 2008
    Central Texas

    She is a stray that my wife pick up years ago. We think she is a lab/red healer mix (white coat with red/rust spots). As I tell my DDs, she barks at her own shadow.

    Thanks for the replies.
  9. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    Looks great. Just be careful trusting the chicken wire to much, most predators can get through that still!!! Raccoons can reach through, dogs can tears through, etc.

    Love the design though!
  10. Sandrachx

    Sandrachx Songster

    Oct 16, 2007
    Chelsea, MI
    looks good - especially like the roof. will it move around the yard? anyone know how those work? didn't see any wheels. do you let the chickens out to range the yard and then move the tractor to another site? i'm a little confused.

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