Chicken tractor vs coop & run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by callalilly, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. callalilly

    callalilly Hatching

    Jun 7, 2010
    Hi all --
    Currently we have a chicken tractor which we built ourselves, with 4 hens in it. The size amounts to about 8-9 sq ft/hen outside and 2 sq ft/hen inside (they only go inside at night; we're in HOT South Carolina). We are considering expanding the size outside and building a longer run off of it, but this would render the structure immobile. Anyone have any opinions/advice on whether a mobile coop that we move every 2 weeks or so (to give them fresh ground to scratch in) or a permanent coop and run (to give them more space) is a better option for our hens? We have 1 black australorp and 3 buff orpingtons.
  2. cfdf

    cfdf Songster

    Apr 12, 2010
    Hmmmm! I guess it's just a matter of opinion but....I have both a tractor and a large coop/run. I prefer the coop. I think my chickens do too. I put some of my chickens in the tractor (right now it is occupied by 2 roos...bachelor pad) and while they like it...they are always happy to get back to the big house. My tractor is a little on the heavy side and somewhat hard for me to move (I'm a petite woman). Yes, I definitely like the coop best....but the tractor is a fun novelty to have and use as a second coop.
  3. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    That's a tough one. Too bad you can't ask your birds for their opinion. Fresh grass? More space? I wonder if the fresh scratching surface every couple weeks might keep them better occupied than a larger dirt run.
  4. JustDawn

    JustDawn Songster

    Dec 7, 2009
    Alpharetta Ga
    I have a tractor and a coop/run and I like my coop and run better. I now use my tractor as the "staging" area for my chicks (the time from when they can go live outside to the time they can go in with the big girls). The thing I hated most about the tractor is that even though you could move it to better ground, I never felt that I could clean it on a daily basis as well as I wanted too. It works well for me as a staging area, but it's still hard to clean! I love my coop!
  5. Brahma Mamma

    Brahma Mamma In the Brooder

    Mar 16, 2010
    I disagree with the fans of coops. We have both a permanent coop and also some tractors. We used the tractors to raise our laying pullets (and their brothers too) throughout the summer. They absolutely loved being moved to fresh grass! Fresh grass provides essential natural antibiotics. Also, by moving them, you keep the chicken parasites under control. Once our young chickens were too big for the tractors we bought a dirt cheap travel trailer and put a feather light electric fence around it. They have a fabulous time in this large protected (relatively) range. Walk with me out of our field and back to the house where the permanent coop is. We started with some free chickens off of craigslist and made a coop out of a storage shed. It also has a fenced run. We started to let our "house chickens" free range this summer and they never looked back. We WILL have to shut all the chickens in for the winter, however. I live in the Great White North and they can't (and won't) go outside when it's 20 below. Since you live in a more temperate climate, you won't have to sequester your chickens for months at a time. If you do pen them up in a coop, go for the deep layer bedding and about once a month spread a big bucket of woodash on the bedding to get rid of mites.

    Good luck with whatever you decide!

  6. elmo

    elmo Crowing

    May 23, 2009

    I have a stationary coop with a roofed run (well, ok, I have two of them and I'm in the process of having a third built), and I have two daytime tractors. It's the best of both worlds!
  7. kcsunshine

    kcsunshine Songster

    Nov 3, 2009
    Maryville, Tennessee
    I have a covered run with a small coop (really a roosting house). I also have a movable tractor. Hubby build small doors in the run area that the hens can go out to free range. Can't let them out right now because of our and neighbor's gardens. So we have wire tunnels going from run to tractor. Tunnels can be moved in several directions - lined up back to back and I can keep them on fresh grass all the time. They love it - and are so cute running through the tunnels. The tunnels and tractor are not predator proof but I don't go off and leave them alone for long periods of time.

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