Chicken Tractor w/ outdoor run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jollygreenegger1, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. jollygreenegger1

    jollygreenegger1 New Egg

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    Hi, I am getting ready to build a chicken tractor to drag around my 2.5 acres. I am making the coop with 4x4 floor and a 4x10 outdoor run. One of a hundred questions I have is: for the outdoor run could you put chicken wire on the bottom (chickens walking on it) to keep out the coyotes and other critters?
    Thanks
    Kevin
     
  2. OverEggstended

    OverEggstended Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2010
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    Well... not sure the chickens will like it or be able to get full use of it then. I, myself, have been researching tractors A LOT.

    Chickens scratch to find weed seeds and insects. Cannot scratch with wire.

    You are not building the tractor out of 4x4s... are you? That would make it most unfun to move each day or so... even if it had wheels!

    If they are going in the coop at night and you are using the tractor as a "poultry playpen" and to suppliment their diet... not too many critters will go after them in a tractor. Worse bet is a dog worrying them.
     
  3. jollygreenegger1

    jollygreenegger1 New Egg

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    I have a Kubota with a loader and I was going to design it so I could lift the front of the run and drag it where I want
     
  4. OverEggstended

    OverEggstended Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I spose if you have that much land to rotate them in and it does not scare them too much. But I still would not use 4x4s... and I am waiting to see if anyone else sees a problem with the wire floor (I admit it would make moving it easier if the fluffy butts could not slip out or be squashed!)

    You are going to move this thing daily or every other day at most with a tractor?

    How many chickens are you planning on having?
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2010
  5. jollygreenegger1

    jollygreenegger1 New Egg

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    I bought 2x6 for the runners, we are only looking at 4-5 birds. Would it have to be moved every other day, week or month? how often should it be moved? I know guy's that have permanent coops and the penned area is all dirt. I live in western WA and is rains a lot, with the grass always wet would moving it often become a health problem for the birds?
     
  6. OverEggstended

    OverEggstended Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you do not want mud... and want to actually suppliment their feed by using the tractor... you will be moving it every day or so.

    I applaud you for sturdyness... but am glad I will not be the one moving that bear!

    We are actually concidering a PVC model. Lightweight, easy to move, cheap, LARGE, etc.
    It will only be used during the day of course... so nightime critters are not a worry.
     
  7. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    Didn't the OP mean his coop is 4 by 4, not that she used 4 by 4s?? That's what I read.

    ETA him not her!
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010
  8. jollygreenegger1

    jollygreenegger1 New Egg

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    Thank you for the correction, I am a he(man) you are also correct that I will use 2x3's and 2x4's for the construction. The floor will be a 4x4 ft. I am not to worried about keeping it in one place for quite a while, after all people who have fixed coops and runs have that problem all the time. I am looking to keep it fairly close to the house in the winter for electricity and then moving it far away in the summer so odors are not near the house.
     
  9. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    If you have access to a tractor, then sure, knock yourself out -- I would still recommend making the house and run portions as 2 separate units that lock together once they get where they're going, though.

    If you try to use a tractor to move the chickens locked into the house portion, that is going to be an extremely bumpy and upsetting ride for them. Unless the chickens are free-ranging, you will probably have to lock them in the house, move the run and block off its open side, then move the chickens manually (cardboard boxes or pet carrier), then move the house portion and reattach it.

    If there is very high predator pressure, you COULD do a wire bottom to the run (use good welded wire, not chickenwire, though), but the chickens won't like it nearly so much because they so like to scratch. A better option is normally to either put the chicken tractor inside a fenced area so there is some extra level of defense vs predators, and/or to have a welded wire mesh 'skirt' that lies on the ground all around its edges (firmly attached to the tractor, e.g. by hinges so you can flip it up for moving) for a width of AT LEAST 6" and preferably a good bit more. That way the chickens can still scratch and dust unimpeded.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     

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