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Chicken Tractors

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Marc33, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. Marc33

    Marc33 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 26, 2007
    I am starting a new flock this year and was thinking of building a chicken tractor. I'd like to know if anyone has built these and have had success with them. It sounds like a great idea, just wondering...Thanks!
     
  2. 54Belair

    54Belair Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 11, 2007
    yeah, I built one once.
    thye work great but you have to remember to move them daily or the ground will be tore up to bad, Also you have to limit the number of chickens in the thing or again you will have to much damage.
    The goal is to have sufficient plant uprooting and scratching to do some good without comprimise to your long term intentions.
    Also, if your a lazy type dont do this. It takes work to move them daily and if your not careful how you build the thng, it willbe to/too/two heavy to easily move by hand and you will begin to neglict it.
    In this case smaller is better.
    Just my three cents worth. LOL [​IMG]
     
  3. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Here are my chicken tractor follow up questions:

    1) Are these for the chickens to live in, or just visit in?
    2) How do you get your chickens into it, especially if you only keep them in it during the day?

    I ask because I want something like this, but don't want them to live in it 24/7. I want them back in their super safe coop at night. Is this possible with a chicken tractor, or more hastle than it's worth (moving chickens in and out of it all the time)?
     
  4. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    Jan 15, 2007
    Shepherdstown, WV
    2) How do you get your chickens into it, especially if you only keep them in it during the day?

    Enquiring minds want to know!
    I have been kicking the thought around to build one for this summer, but have been puzzling over that same question!​
     
  5. Nifty-Chicken

    Nifty-Chicken Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, the only thing I can think to use is scratch to lure them into the tractor... but that's hardly reliable and I doubt I'd get all 7 into a small place without a TON of effort.

    Another question: How do you move the thing (if the bottom is open) and not have chickens escape? I guess it has to move flat on the ground? If you've got rough terrain that probably doesn't work so well.

    I'm thinking this whole chicken tractor thing is a farce! [​IMG]
     
  6. 54Belair

    54Belair Out Of The Brooder

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    Well your creatin a big hassell for yourself if you intend to keep the chocks in the coop rather than the tractor
    Two solutions to consider.
    One build the tractor heavy so the critters dont get em, but then its usually so heavy you cant easily move the thing so it almost becomes a run.
    Two build it lite and on wheels so you can move it to the coop/run daily. Then put a side door in it and use some scratch to lure them back to the run.
    I built mine lite and did the second of the two listed above.
    But with my other busy life style it was just two much hassel on a daily basis so I abandoned the project entirely
     
  7. MTchick

    MTchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here is a solution to getting them in there; make it so that your tractor has an identical opening (size, height) as your henhouse, and make sure your tractor can get right next to that opening. In the morning, pull the tractor opening right up to the door on the henhouse. When you open it up, the chickens should pour out of their henhouse door- directly into the tractor! Taa daa!

    That way, you'd never have to catch anyone. This would only work with a light tractor, of course, because now it has chickens in it BEFORE you move it.

    -MTchick
     
  8. Kambi

    Kambi Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 19, 2007
    I leave my chickens out in the evening. If I'm home and outside, they have a longer time to roam. I fits a bit too chilly for my or I'll be too busy to check on them frequently, I let them out about an hour or so before dusk.

    They have always returned to roost thru the little side door and I slide open the roof to count them to be sure. (Once in a while I catch one roosting in a nearby bush.)

    As for moving the tractor, I move mine when I let them out because they will run under it. Mine also has an attached "sunroom" (a run) that moves with it. So they are "outside" even when I don't let them out to free range.
     
  9. mudhen

    mudhen confidently clueless

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    Since it is impractical to run the girls in and out of the tractor each morning/evening, like 54Belair said, I've come to the conclusion that it could be a sort of summer house for them that I could drag around different parts of the yard every couple of days.

    Just for giggles, here's a couple simple sled designs:
    [​IMG]

    The top design is the kind of thing I was thinking about putting together for the summer. But I'm kicking around the idea of makin the framework from PVC instead of 2x4s ( the bottom 'sled' would still be treated 2x6 lumber).
    What do you all think?
     
  10. ncCHICKS

    ncCHICKS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hope Mills, NC
    I have a chicken tractor. I built it myself [​IMG]

    It's 12x6. It has roosts in it, but not too high. I used it for transitioning the chicks to outside.
     

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