chickens tractors and high winds

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Anna-Mossity, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. Anna-Mossity

    Anna-Mossity In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2007
    Horn Lake, MS
    I'm wondering how other people deal with chicken tractors and high winds. We had some pretty strong storms today, and "chicken hut" paid the price. Luckily when I came home for lunch I decided to put the girls in the small cage I have and put them up in the shed. I hate to think what might have happened if I hadn't. But this is what it looked like when I came home...

    The girls aren't too happy in the little cage, but they'll just have to wait until tomorrow when things are safer.

    I was thinking about getting some stakes to hold it down, and just adding some more run space. Any suggestions would be great!

  2. fallenweeble

    fallenweeble Songster

    Dec 4, 2007
    good call on puttin' the gals indoors today.

    i don't know what would work but i'd say stakes would be an excellent place to start!
    i've also heart that with pvc some people will fill the bottom most pipes with sand or gravel to make them bottom heavy/stable. is that an option?

    good luck!
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    After my tractor blew away once, I tied down some HUGE concrete foundation bricks to each corner. Now the tarp top isn't on as tight and instead of the whole wood structure blowing away, the top rips off and the chicks get wet. Better wet than killed or eaten.
  4. carugoman

    carugoman Songster

    Nov 8, 2007
    NW FL Crestview
    That sure does look like one flimsy piss-poor design of a chicken tractor! Kind of reminds me of the old slapschtick comedy routine with the wind and an umbrella. People make fun of engineers (I happen to be one) of over-designing projects,but at least nothing I ever signed off on ever blew away in a windstorm!

    Next time,if you want to spend money,spend it on hardware cloth and some stout pieces of wood and some wood screws and lag bolts to build a proper structure. Make the thing heavy so it won't blow away next time. Save the PVC for a plumbing job or a kids' hockey net or batting cage. If you make an undercarriage with some pneumatic wheelbarrow wheels,then you could make the thing portable.

    All y'all take care!
  5. Jayare's Chicks

    Jayare's Chicks Songster

    Aug 25, 2007
    Florence, Alabama
    I think that last comment was a little un-called for....

    That is a nice looking tractor you got there, we got a little bit of those high winds here yesterday also.

    Maybe just tie some small rope to the 4 top corners and go down to the ground at about a 45 degree angel about 4-5 feet out and stake it to the ground.

    If you want to be able to move it around as needed instead of staking it to the ground you could get some car inner tubes and cut them in half or thirds and fold the cut edge over and nail/screw a couple of pieces of wood at the end and fill them up with dirt or gravel then close up the other end the same way and use those to tie the rope to to help hold your tractor down.

  6. NicoleRM

    NicoleRM Songster

    Dec 2, 2007
    Williston, FL
    Well, I'd say your "piss-poor" [​IMG] tractor would be just fine with some anchors to tie it down. Those spiraling spike things they make for tying out dogs are pretty good when it comes to holding power. Perhaps one of those on each corner could do the trick?

    I've been thinking about a fairly large PVC framed second coop myself lately, and the anchors are the part that have stumped me so far. Down here in Florida where all we have is "sugar sand" almost anything slides right out of the ground. The spiral dog spike things are the only thing I've come up with so far that still allow for mobility if necessary.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008
  7. Laura Jensen

    Laura Jensen In the Brooder

    Jan 8, 2008
    Let's see . . . Goals of a chicken tractor - lightweight, so it's easy to move; not too expensive to build, provides appropriate shelter for chickens. Looks like you've got a winner! (Except on windy days. For those . . . )

    You could fill five gallon buckets with water or gravel and tie the tractor to the as many buckets as necessary when it's going to be windy. (5 gallons of water is 40 pounds, gravel is heavier.)
  8. Anna-Mossity

    Anna-Mossity In the Brooder

    Sep 4, 2007
    Horn Lake, MS
    Thanks for everyones ideas (except for carugoman [​IMG] ). I'm gonna work on it more this weekend. And I'll post some updates then.

    I'm not exactly handy with a hammer and nails so I've been quite proud of what I managed to accomplish all by myself.
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2008
  9. I found this, and use it to anchor the center of my lightweight hoop tractor. It is very easy to pull up and move when I move the tractor.

    I have found the hoop tractor, when faced with the sides facing the prevailing winds, has a lot of natural stability anyway. Someone told me that as the wind hits the tractor, it pushes down on the sloping hoop side (like an airplane wing), and helps keep it from flying away.

    Be that as it may, one time in this crazy Texas weather we had strong gusts coming straight at the END of the tractor, and I watched as it lifted the front of the tractor more than a foot off the ground. That's when I found The Claw:

    I figure if it can hold down an airplane, it can hold down my PVC chicken tractor!

    And phooey to carugoman; seems to me I remember a little alliterative ditty about good design; it goes, "form follows function".

    Edit to make link work
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 12, 2008
  10. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Perhaps some kind of metal hook you can hammer into the ground and over the pipe of the tractor?

    Does your tarp cover the entire tractor? perhaps a secure more firm wooden box or something on one side for shelter... those tarps are like parachutes.....

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