Chicken tractors do not offer good protection from predators

oldschool73

Hatching
May 22, 2015
1
1
7
I recently purchased a chicken tractor to house my new flock of chickens (20 heavy reds and white rock). It seemed like a good idea at the time as I could move the tractor everyday while offering them some protection. This morning I was horrified to see that the structure had been attacked overnight and that my entire flock had been killed. The chickens had not been eaten, just mauled, which leads me to suspect a neighbouring dog. An opening had been torn on the tarp and a hole had also been dug beneath the structure. Has anyone else had this problem with their chicken tractor (Cackellac brand)? I'm hoping this will act as a deterrent to other people considering this for their chickens. I only had the tractor for a month and lost over a grand as I am afraid to ever use
it again!






 

TalkALittle

Songster
5 Years
Dec 15, 2014
1,661
725
191
Massachusetts
I'm very sorry for your loss. No offense intended, but I never would have assumed birds would be secure in that style tractor. However, by using some cattle panels and hardware cloth you could reuse the end panels to construct yourself a much more secure tractor if you aren't totally discouraged. Look through the coop gallery for "hoop coops".
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,043
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
I'm very sorry for your loss. No offense intended, but I never would have assumed birds would be secure in that style tractor. However, by using some cattle panels and hardware cloth you could reuse the end panels to construct yourself a much more secure tractor if you aren't totally discouraged. Look through the coop gallery for "hoop coops".

X 2 - though having taken a moment to visit the site for this particular brand of tractor I can absolutely understand why you expected it to be secure, OP, due to statements such as this on the description:
Quote:
The 812 Cackellac line of shelters are designed to make this efficient and enjoyable, at the same time providing secure protection.
Both statements, unfortunately, are completely misleading and unfounded - and would be believed by someone new to poultry keeping and unfamiliar with how to evaluate the security of such a structure. This, to me, is similar to the entirely incorrect and misleading labeling of prefab coops as to the appropriate number of birds to put in them - again, a new chicken person would have no reason not to believe the "experts" who have labeled the product.
I am so sorry that you were mislead and have had to have this hard experience to learn from.

(eta to add source link http://canadianhomesteadsupply.com/product/cackellac-812-chicken-tractor/)
 
Last edited:

TalkALittle

Songster
5 Years
Dec 15, 2014
1,661
725
191
Massachusetts
I visited the site too and can't believe they claim protection from predators. If the wire mesh completely enclosed the tractor then maybe, although it would still be vulnerable to digging predators.
I get that newbies might not be predator savvy and are more willing to take such claims at face value but half the tractor is a tarp for goodness sake!
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,373
17,727
856
Holts Summit, Missouri
I use flimsier tractors than shown. They keep chicken in, raptors out and slow other predators. An outer perimeter which I strongly suggest the OP should consider will stop most ground predators is electrified poultry netting. Poultry netting makes so later the chickens can be released inside that perimeter and still retreat to the tractor at night to roost. I also use dogs that go after predators that challenge the setup. I have a fair number of "tractors" like shown an bigger problem to be realized will involve a wind event. I have so covers blow off before tractors role across field.
 

chickensk

Hatching
Jun 22, 2019
7
0
7
Saskatchewan
Did the beast that attacked your shelter enter through the door? It appears the holes in the cover are only 12" openings, too small for a large beast to get inside.

At the time, were you moving the shelter 1 to 2 times per day? It appears from your pictures that your nests, waterer, and feeders were not properly hung from the rafters. Moving daily helps defend against beasts from digging underneath.

The shelters work best within an electric fence corral.
 

chickensk

Hatching
Jun 22, 2019
7
0
7
Saskatchewan
I am so sorry, how heartbreaking.
It definatly looks loke a dog got in. That had to create a lot of racket and take a while.
If you feel like getting more chickens at some point, you could still use that set up for daytime ranging. But have a real chicken coop to keep them secure at night.

That does not make any sense to transfer birds from a cackellac for day time grazing to a coop at night, as it would stress the birds out.
 

gam_gamer

Chirping
9 Years
Sep 8, 2011
6
3
69
Just wanted to weigh in with our experience because we’ve had two cackelacs for 6 years and have had zero problems. We will be ordering a third this winter to use as a moveable greenhouse for starts and season extension (our soon to be 12 year old is a budding organic gardener with a number of loyal vegetable customers). The company that makes them has been very easy to deal with. Problems we experienced early on were quickly remedied. I honestly can’t imagine any chicken tractor withstanding an attack such as the one here. Anyway, I don’t have a horse in the race but just wanted to say these coops are durable, and stand up well. But I would never put any coop in an area without some sort of protection against predators (farm guardian dog or electric fence, etc.)
 

Big Doggie

Songster
Mar 23, 2020
293
341
133
Mass
I recently purchased a chicken tractor to house my new flock of chickens (20 heavy reds and white rock). It seemed like a good idea at the time as I could move the tractor everyday while offering them some protection. This morning I was horrified to see that the structure had been attacked overnight and that my entire flock had been killed. The chickens had not been eaten, just mauled, which leads me to suspect a neighbouring dog. An opening had been torn on the tarp and a hole had also been dug beneath the structure. Has anyone else had this problem with their chicken tractor (Cackellac brand)? I'm hoping this will act as a deterrent to other people considering this for their chickens. I only had the tractor for a month and lost over a grand as I am afraid to ever use
it again!






Just awful. I’m sorry for your loss
 

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