For those with Tractors: question re: laying..

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by thndrdancr, Sep 25, 2007.

  1. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    Ok, I hooked my "coop" up to my tractor roughly about the time the girls started laying.
    Before that, the pen was moved every three days, they had fresh grass all the time to scratch in, there was no smell and everyone was happy.
    Since then, the pen doesnt get moved every few days, the grass is all gone, its a mucky mess, the girls look longingly out of their pen and no one is happy! do those of you with tractors handle the laying situation? I have one girl that lays early morning, and one mid to late afternoon, so I cant just "leave them in til they both lay".
    Any suggestions, or what do those with tractors do, how do they handle that?

  2. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Songster

    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    I've been wondering the same thing. our BO's will start laying soon I hope. What we do is let them out every evening for an hour or so, and move the tractor only the length of it or the width of it to provide fresh turf during that time. I am hoping that this will not create a problem but will have to see....

    btw- do you let the girls out to freerange or do they stay in the tractor.
  3. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    I let them out, but only for about 1/2 to an hour in the evening with supervision, depending on how much time I have and how cool it is in the evenings any more. They are so much more relaxed when they have been out playing for a bit.

    I also only used to move the tractor a bit, but it was enough to almost always provide fresh grass/weeds for them to scratch at. Kept them from being bored, they get bored now and then fuss alot.

    Anyone else? How do you provide a place for them to lay, if you have a tractor?
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    We designed our tractor with a nest box in it.
  5. greginshasta

    greginshasta Songster

    Jul 26, 2007
    Mount Shasta, CA
    This tractor has a built-in nesting box if you want an idea of a way to install such an accessory
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2007
  6. FluffyChickenMama

    FluffyChickenMama Songster

    Jun 13, 2007
    I have nesting boxes attached to the inside of my tractor so when I move the tractor the nests go too..I can still move them everyday even with a hen on the nest... I have always let my hens out to range everyday about 2:00.. by then most of them have layed..
  7. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    Thanks all. Do the ones you all have with built in nest boxes look anything like the one on the website?
    Pics would help, I think I might try to rig something, so I can move them around.
    Thanks so much, all, I sure appreciate your responses.
  8. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Currently our 3 are in a tractor that includes a nest box, and sorry I don't have pix available at present (plus the darn thing weighs a ton)...

    ...but if your main problem is just having somewhere for them to lay, have you considered making a stand-alone nest box that you just keep moving with the tractor? Before I got the tractor built I was hand-carrying my 3 to an outdoor pen each day (attached to the building they were in) and if not all of them had laid by the time I wanted to put them outside, I'd just move the nest box out to the pen with them for the day. I was using a rubbermaid box from Walmart wiht a hole cut in the end, or you could use a covered cat litter box if you ahve one around.

    Good luck,

  9. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

    Jul 5, 2007
    Sevier County, TN
    We have a tractor we move once a week. We could do it wwith a hen inside, but they all love their hour of playtime and are free-ranging when we move it.


    I think you can see the door to the nesting area. We don't have boxes; the whole 'upstairs' is covered in shavings.

    So far only one hen is laying, and she has laid 10 out of 11 eggs in the nest area. One was laid in front of the door. None were laid in the grass.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2007
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    I move my "tractor" coops every once in a while, at least once or twice a year each, and they always manage to find their red nesting hutches to go lay their eggs regardless of where it has been relocated. I am sure I am losing eggs left and right but since most don't lay anymore or haven't started, it's not that big of an issue. I let mine out at like 8 am and they put themselves to bed at night no problems.

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