Chicken tractor questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kortmom, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. kortmom

    kortmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2013
    Hello! I am going to be a new chicken mom to six girls (buff orps, rd island reds & easter eggers) in May and I am sooooo excited about my new babies. I want them to live a long and happy life. We live in a wooded area with lots of predators, hawks included, so I am afraid to let them loose to free range. I have designed a 4x6 coop with an attached 80 square foot secure run. I would, however, like to build a small wood and chicken wire chicken tractor without a coop, just an enclosed run on wheels type, so that I can let them go into the yard supervised and eat bugs, grass, and scratch. I figure when I'm in the pool or gardening or even just sitting on my porch, they can certainly be in their tractor safely taking advantage of the great outdoors.

    My question is: How big does my tractor need to be to just serve the purpose of a few hours of foraging? I would love to keep it simple and lightweight and not a gigantic eye sore and was thinking 2x2x6 would be reasonable. What do you think? I could do 4x6 if that seemed significantly better.

    Another question is: I know water needs to be provided in the tractor, but what about a nesting box? I don't know anything yet about hen egg laying practices and have images of my hens deciding to pop out an egg when I put them into the tractor and stepping on them. Do they have times that they lay eggs or do the eggs just get laid at random times all over the place? It sounds dumb but I really don't know. I haven't done this yet.

    Thank you for any information you can provide!

    Lisa
     
  2. ocap

    ocap Overrun With Chickens

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    Smithville, Missouri
    here is the tractor I am going to build:


    I am going to keep two hens and one rooster in it 4x8 two feet high

    I am also going to put a wire skirt around the bottom that will extend toward a digging predator, maybe one foot wide, rarely will they backup to start the digging

    I have yet to figure out when a hen lays her egg, they like a nest box and might need a fake egg to let them know where to lay.
     
  3. kortmom

    kortmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 1, 2013
    That is a beautiful chicken tractor. Looks VERY sturdy. I was hoping to build it myself -- I don't think I have the skills to put together something like that.
     

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