Chicken Tractor question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jrleader99, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. jrleader99

    jrleader99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have been interested in building a chicken tractor but have a simple question that anyone with one should be able to answer.

    Does the bottom of your chicken tractor run have wire mesh or is it open to the ground?

    The reason I ask is, when you lift the tractor wouldn't the chickens (1) escape, (2) have to scoot along with you, or (3) get caught as you move it around?

    I am just curious because I need to make something for my almost 6 week old chicks so they have some outdoor time and thought a tractor would be ideal.

    Thanks in advance for your inputs.
     
  2. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have what I call a Range Rover for my chickens. It does not have wire at the bottom - I just don't lift it very high off the ground when I move it. If you call them and have some treats they will generally go in the direction that you want them to.
     
  3. Chilebound

    Chilebound Out Of The Brooder

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    I have built a tractor and yes, leave the bottom open! Simply move it before you let them out of the coop or house section for the day. I have a door that I close at night that closes them in a 4'x4' coop, and I move it while they are closed in early in the morning. Once they grow a bit more, if you get the leverage right, you can move it while they are out and they just walk a long with it....but they do fuss a lot.
     
  4. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  5. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Leave the bottom open. From what I have heard the girls will get used to following along when you move it. Is it possible to let them free range around your yard during the day? You'd be surprised how willing they are to stick close to the coop.
     
  6. jrleader99

    jrleader99 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the quick response.

    I am planning on using it to get the chicks out of our homeschool room. My wife is complaining about the dust and smell [​IMG]. They will eventually move in with the other chickens once they get more the same size. At that point I will either use it for more chicks because this is so addicting, or use it as a sick/broody ward.

    Phil - I used to allow them to free range around the yard but they were tearing apart our flower beds and throwing mulch everywhere. Also they were venturing to the neighbors yards and sometimes not coming home at night. I spent countless nights searching with a flashligth through my neighbors yards, through our many pine trees to find no chickens until they came home in the morning. So they are not free ranging anymore. The full grown chickens have a rather large yard with plenty of room.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  7. lceh

    lceh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can look at our tractor at https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=185226. We did put wire on the bottom, both to keep out digging predators and to keep the birds from totally trashing the yard. (They trashed it anyway through the wire.) We used 2 x 4 wire on the bottom so there's space to scratch a little and for waste to drop through. One caveat, though -- it only works well if the tractor's on a level surface. If the ground's too lumpy there's a gap between the wire and the ground that can make it tricky for the birds to walk on, especially when they're young and have smaller feet. One of my daughter's 6-week-old pullets was running to get a treat and caught her leg in the wire when it was on a bumpy bit of ground and dislocated her hip. I felt absolutely terrible about it. We've had no trouble with the older birds on it though. BUT you can only move the tractor when the birds are locked into the house at night, since the mesh is far too big for them to "ride" on. I move it in the evening when they've gone to bed.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  8. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Quote:One cautionary note from experience: if you're using it for a traveling grow-out pen for the babies, you have to be sure that there are no gaps between the grass and the tractor otherwise they will escape! They're crafty!
    On areas that are less than flat, I tuck a tarp or piece of wood into the gap to fill it. That does the trick.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2010
  9. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is mine ( before the wheels were attached) it is very simple and inexpensive to build;

    [​IMG]
     
  10. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

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    Quote:Wow, what a beautiful garden for your chickens to enjoy while ranging!!
     

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