Garden Row Chicken Tractor

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by OcoeeG, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. OcoeeG

    OcoeeG Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2008
    Chattanooga
    I am going to make a between the garden row chicken tractor to help keep the bugs and weeds down. I got the idea from a recent post. Mine is going to be about 8 feet long 2.5' high and 2' wide. First of all how many chickens do you think could live in that? They are going to be my meat birds. I will have about 25 of them. I will also have a large tractor that will not go in the rows. I was thinking about rotating 4 or 5 into the row tractor every week or so.
    My next question. Is it OK to use cedar with chicken and in the garden? I have heard cedar has a mild toxin in it which is what prevents the rotting organisms and bugs from harming it. Obviously it is better than pressure treated. But would I be better off using painted spruce. I want something that will last a few seasons outdoors before falling apart. I can mill the cedar from trees on my own land so the cedar is free. What says ye?
    Thanks in advance
     
  2. jab91864

    jab91864 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2007
    Northern Michigan
    I've heard a lot of folks say broilers (fast grow meat types) aren't that adventurous when it comes to hunting up food such as scratching around and free range. I don't know for a fact since I use dual purpose breeds for my meat birds.

    What I do know is make sure the wire is small guage, not anything they can get their heads thru. You would be amazed how far a neck can stretch to pluck at a tomato.... unfortunately I know that for fact. I have to re-work my garden plan again this year if I plan to save my tomatoes and peppers from the flock.

    Best of luck and would love to see pics when you get it all done.

    Julie [​IMG]
     
  3. 2468Chickensrgr8

    2468Chickensrgr8 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    Ontario
    What a fantastic Idea ! Love to see a photo !! I agree with

    OcoeeG chickens can really stretched their necks...and I believe cedar is not good for chickens because of the toxins in it....there are alot of threads about cedar shavings here somewhere...

    Good Luck and welcome to the madness....now I am going to talk to hubby about a garden tractor.....
     
  4. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    Use of cedar as lumber is perfectly fine for both your chickens and your garden. Cedar can give off troublesome volitile compounds but in lumber form it is so minimal as to not be a concern. When a cedar board is reduced to shavings the surface area is multiplied by many, many thousands of times and that is when the compounds released into the air can become problematic.

    Wayne
     
  5. OcoeeG

    OcoeeG Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 27, 2008
    Chattanooga
    Thanks everyone,
    yeah that is what I thought. Cool, that should save me some money, and I think that eastern cedar will look good in our garden. I will post pics when I get it built.
     
  6. charlindabob

    charlindabob Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 25, 2009
    central Florida
    I know everyone says you are not suppose to, but I use pressure treated lumber for my cages and have for years will no ill effects. I've raised many a chicken, dove, turkey and Mandarin ducks in cages using pressure treated wood. None of the birds have ingested the wood and only the frame work of the avairy or cage is pressure treated and the rest wire or nettting so there isn't really a lot of wood/chemical build up. If the pressure treated wood was ground up so the birds could eat it or stacked so rain run off and contamination of the cage floor was in jeopardy, then I could see a problem, but one pressure treated 2x4 around all perimeters of a cage, I doubt if there would be any problem. The wood is mostly very well ventilated except the very bottom which is on the ground. Now, if I were recommending a wood to use and to be politically correct, I wouldn't recommend pressure treated, but I'm just saying what I use. I would be interested in hearing from anybody that has used pressure treated lumber and had a problem with health issues.
     
  7. waynesgarden

    waynesgarden Feathers of Steel

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    Mar 30, 2008
    Oxford County
    The original poster is planning to use a wood that is completely approriate and safe for the intended use. Cedar is light in weight which anyone knowledgable about chicken tractors will tell you is a very important factor.

    I do not use pressure treated wood in my garden and I'm simply not going to wait until I develop health issues to justify my decision. That the arsenic in the old compounds formerly used hasn't visibly affected you is not "proof" to me that it was safe. (Safe compounds are seldom pulled from the shelves on an industry-wide basis.)

    Wayne
     

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