Egg Cart'n chicken tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sovia, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. sovia

    sovia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2008
    Black Hills of SD
    I am intrigued by the chicken tractor being sold by Randall Burkey. It is called the "Egg Cart'n" and supposedly holds 12 standard hens. Personally, I think it looks a little small for 12 hens, but it appears to be very sturdy. And, unfortunately, it is anything but cheap, but it looks to be better than the product sold by Omlet. I am curious whether anyone on this forum has seen or used this product.
     
  2. CarlaRiggs

    CarlaRiggs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Here's the link for anyone interested ~
    http://www.eggcartn.com/

    Yes, it's way too small for 12 chickens; and it's also quite $$$ [​IMG]

    I have my four standard hens in a 5'x12' run, and it's really a bit too small for them. They're let out to free range in my backyard everyday and can hardly wait to get out in the afternoon! A good run is not only size, but is interesting to the chickens. ie, something for them to do such as roost, and scratch for good things to eat. If one hen is bossy, then the one being bossed [​IMG] needs a space to get away.

    I'm thinking that you can build something much better than this for that amount of money.... even with few contractor skills.

    Carla
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    It seems to be the almost universal convention among manufacturers of readymade chicken tractors to base their advertised "houses up to X chickens" on 2 sq ft per bird.

    I do not know how much of this is choosing to assume (for the sake of making the product sound good, anyhow) that purchasers will be free-ranging their hens all day in a consistantly pleasant climate, in which case 2 sq ft per hen of roosting space at night is not totally unreasonable; or how much of it is based on choosing numbers (again, I suspect for the sake of making the product sound good) based on commercial egg and broiler farm regulations and books written for small-scale backyard commercial egg production under basically similar conditions.

    You can build something WAY better for WAY less, even if you've never built something before [​IMG]


    Pat
     
  4. FrontPorchIndiana

    FrontPorchIndiana Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Indiana
    Way, way, WAY too small for that many chickens. A standard size chicken in confinement should have 10 sq ft per bird! If let out to free range they still need 4 sq ft. Even bantams need 5 sq ft if confined to a tractor. I agree with the others, you could throw something together yourself or even hire a handyman for much less money.
     
  5. sovia

    sovia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 4, 2008
    Black Hills of SD
    Thanks for all your replies. You have confirmed my suspicions that it is way too small and I am SO reluctant to have so few chickens! Anyhow, I will continue planning for my spring chicken tractor. Thanks again.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If you want a tractor, you should be aware that the only tractors that can accommodate more than 4 or so birds are the extra-large Andy Lee / Joel Salatin / hoop house ones, which cannot be made 'cute' and which do not winterize well for northern climates.

    So if you want a buncha chickens, you may need to either go with a fixed coop (probably a whole big lot smarter in your climate, anyhow) or at the very least plan on *several* tractors...

    Just a thought,

    Pat
     
  7. arlosmine

    arlosmine Out Of The Brooder

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    I have been "chickening" in the city for five years and have built (and I am a chick with ordinary tools) one fixed coop w/run, one chicken tractor and one "roo-condo" in my garage. These were all put together using at least 50% leftover stuff from remodeling projects or previous chicken stuff. I did splurge and spend $400 on a really nice locally made coop for my new mille fleurs for breeding..

    The chicken tractor is a big pain. If it's big enough to hold three standard hens overnite, it's to big to move by yourself. The grass will be thrashed in three days with more than one full-time resident. It is great to use AS A COOP with a run/free-range time, or for transitioning young birds (you can alternate free-range time with the big girls) or maybe for a few little japanese bantams (my plan)

    I am putting legs on my tractor and a hinged bottom panel to drop down for easy cleaning...in other words: I give up and it is becoming a coop.

    My main point is :

    BUILD IT. It's fun ... (if you really do not want to build it youself, hire and support a local small business person and give them ideas from this site to work from)
     
  8. sovia

    sovia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Black Hills of SD
    Thanks for all your replies. I do have a very large coop and run that I am happy with, but, the hens are just not that happy. We have ten acres and it would be so nice to have them out scratching in the grass, eating bugs, etc. It is IMPOSSIBLE to free range them. I have had them out a couple of times, each time less than 30 minutes, and I could not believe how the big owls and eagles started swooping down. Between the airborne predators and all the land predators, I just have to have something to enclose 12-15 hens at a time. Most of the tractors I have seen accomadate far fewer than that number. Ideally, I will have the chickens in their permanent coop at night (good protection against the mountain lions, wolves/coytoes, etc.) and in the tractor during the day when we are home. If anyone has seen a tractor that big that is still easily movable, I would really appreciate your input!
     
  9. sewincircle

    sewincircle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2008
    Central New York
    Ya, I have never seen that one. With only 2 nesting boxes it definatley would only accomodate max 8 hens. 4X6 is small. I am with you, too small for a dozen, but thanks for sharing the link. It is a good idea for a sepaeration area for breeding or something i guess.
     
  10. Rae_37066

    Rae_37066 Out Of The Brooder

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    Gallatin, TN
    Quote:get some 2x4s, fencing and wheels and build a portable tractor that you pull with your riding mower. it's what I plan on doing. big hawks around here.
     

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