Chicken Tractors?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PhilErvin, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was thinking of building a Tractor so that I can graze the girls in my lawn. I understand the advantage of the tractor is no floor, thus the girls always have new ground to scratch in. The thing I haven't figured out yet is how do you move a tractor without the girls scattering in all directions? Do you move it a night while the girls are in the enclosed part? Or do you reach in and hold them all safely while it is moved? I just haven't seen an idea yet that would make the tractor feasable to move at will.
    Thanx for any replys. Here's my coop and run https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=40971
    Phil
     
  2. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a stationary coop, and also a tractor. I used to be worried about how hard it was going to be to move my chickens from one to the other; but, as it happens, after a few days they got used to the routine. I got in the habit of throwing a handful of scratch into the tractor when I want to move 'em in there, and now they go in readily. I move the tractor only when it has no chickens in it.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    You just move it and they walk along inside the run portion. Obviously don't lift the tractor real high above the ground [​IMG], just enough to clear the grass and bumps. Pull it along and they will migrate right along with you, inside of it, on their own two feet.

    They will figure it out real fast, probably the very first time you move 'em. If you are concerned, you can have a second person around with a pokey stick to encourage them to move if they just want to stand there going 'duuuuhhhhhh' and are in danger of being snowplowed by the trailing edge of the tractor - but mine never had any problem with it, once they got over that first moment of surprise that the world was relocating.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. 7cutechix

    7cutechix Out Of The Brooder

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    I definately would not move it with them in the run. I have one and move it once they go into the coop area, I close their door and move it. Or in the morning before I let them out. Don't want to get their feet squished.....
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:There is no way to squish feet unless you have a wire mesh bottom on the run, which tractors normally do not. Honest, they walk along *just fine*. That is how tractors are generally DESIGNED to be used.

    You *can* shut the chickens in a floored house portion and move them that way, but it is harder on the chickens, much more bumping and jostling and sliding around. As opposed to, they take a little stroll [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  6. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    Quote:There is no way to squish feet unless you have a wire mesh bottom on the run, which tractors normally do not. Honest, they walk along *just fine*. That is how tractors are generally DESIGNED to be used.

    You *can* shut the chickens in a floored house portion and move them that way, but it is harder on the chickens, much more bumping and jostling and sliding around. As opposed to, they take a little stroll [​IMG]

    Pat

    DO NOT move a tractor with hens running loose inside. you can and will crush legs and feet. trust me i got a trophy. let them out before moving it. they will go back in there house
     
  7. EGGTASKTIC

    EGGTASKTIC Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Like Pat mine go for a little walk. They get the hang of it fast. I move mine by hand and very slowly. Never had any issue. They are after the new grass and such and move from the old to the new pasture with vigor.
     
  8. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've moved my hens both ways. Once they learn that they're about to move to greener pastures, they get it really quick and they're right at the front rarin' to go.

    You DO keep an eye on them the first few times, and have someone at the back with a broom or a little towel to chivvy them along. But just because they're chickens doesn't mean they're totally clueless![​IMG]
     
  9. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I slide mine along with the birds in it and did have one get a squished leg. The other birds instinctively chased him and pecked him cause he was weaker. We put him in with the broilers (read "too fat and lazy to chase anyone") and he healed and was fine.

    Given the choice, I would move the tractor when the birds were in the coop portion with a floor if there is one. If not, take care to train them to walk along, most will figure it out.
     
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Those of you getting squished legs on your chickens, HOW are you moving your tractors? Unless you are using a vehicle to pull a large tractor, or have for some reason chosen to pull a tractor towards the 'house' end so that you can't see very well what's going on in it, I am not quite getting how that could happen, except perhaps as an exceptionally rare incident with unusually-flighty breeds. I always just moved the tractor rather slowly, and *watching* the chickens as I went, so I could stop if they were too close to the back wall or doing anything else dumb.

    Kind of scratching my head here,

    Pat
     

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