Has anyone used hog panels for a chicken tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by moenmitz, Apr 15, 2008.

  1. moenmitz

    moenmitz Songster

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    We have about 20 nice hog panels and have the notion of using them for a chicken tractor-this would be a day time shelter, so the larger holes in the sides wouldn't be a problem as we are mainly looking at hawks and eagles as predators tehn. Concerned about how to make it not TOO heavy-and would love any ideas or pictures of your own!
     
  2. raindrop

    raindrop Songster

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    Be careful. I have had a hawk take an adult chicken through the sides of a covered dog x-pen. It just waited while the hens freaked out and grabbed one through the bars. I got home and saw it fly off, had been eating her through the bars. The others were plastered to the far wall, took them a few days to come out of the coop. Maybe cover the panels with some chicken wire?
     
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    There is a thread on here about a "hoop coop" using cattle panels.
     
  4. moenmitz

    moenmitz Songster

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    eek! I would not have expected that! yes, I would definitely cover them with chicken wire then, if that is the case. I am putting too much work into these guys to let them be bird food, and we ahve a lot of hawks! going to do that seacrh now and see what I find, thank you!
     
  5. moenmitz

    moenmitz Songster

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    hmmm...I looked at the hoop coop, and it is a good idea, but I dont think the panels we have would work. They are really heavy-gauge panels, not much flex to them at all, bending them would be next to impossible. And they are REALLY heavy. I guess in my head I am picturing something more tee-pee shaped, like bringing the two sides together in a triangle? I think I know how to make it work, but would love to see what soemone else has done-maybe save myself some mistakes!
     
  6. moenmitz

    moenmitz Songster

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    Not being able to sleep, I started googling "hoop coop" and i think I found something that we could do. This is the link: http://www.apppa.org/mhpen.pdf

    I think the panels could be bent that much at least, and I am envisioning either putting wheels on it, or possibly making some handles to carry it with. Also...stupid question here, but bear with me, these are my first chickens...do I need to put nesting boxes in there if my chickens are put in the barn at night? I guess I dont know when they lay eggs- is at night, or just whenever they have a good place? If I do need nesting boxes, I saw where soemone used milk crates to make a rather ingenious group, and I was thinking those could be wired onto the sides of this-lightweight so they wouldn't make it too much heavier. He mentions in the article using a hanging waterer-I am skeptical about that being too heavy for the panel, but maybe not. Anyway, this is betetr than what i was thinking of doing so far.
     
  7. hdchic

    hdchic Songster

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    Was reading your post, I am new to chickens, too. I had made my outside pen out of some Prefert dog run panels and attached them to an old shed. I cut a hole in the wall of the shed, and used scrap lumber to build inside. As for nesting boxes, the DH took 2 dresser drawers and, taking the bottom out of one, stacked them. Open parts together making a box with the divider in the middle. We also went to the swap meet and bought (for cheap) a 14 hole nesting "condo".

    I brought my 19 layers home on Sunday and have yet to see eggs, but I'm hoping in the next couple weeks I'll see something! [​IMG]
     
  8. willheveland

    willheveland Songster

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    I always thought about building a tractor out of some kind of panels (mostly dog),but I don't see why hog panels wouldn't work.They are very strong and lite considering the size.They cut up nice with boltcutters.I would make it rectangle and wire the sides together.If they are 16ft. long you could probably cut them down to 8 ft. and make your pen 8x8.You could always take it down at the end of the season this way.You could stretch a tarp over the top and bungee cord it down.It would be similar to the chicken tractors I use for meat birds(see "my page").Two people could move it each day pretty easy without wheels. will
     
  9. Moonwalker

    Moonwalker Songster

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    This is the hoop coop I built that was in the earlier thread
    http://s233.photobucket.com/albums/ee296/suzi_wright/Hoop Coop/
    If you have regular hog panels, they should be easy enough to bend.
    This is a 24/7 home for my chickens that can be moved as often as needed. Adding an extra tarp in really bad weather makes it totally snug. It is sturdy enough to hang anything I need from the wire panels.
    I will be adding roosts and nest boxes inside next week and eventually will have an attached run that will be movable, made from chicken wire and eletric horse fence posts, so they will have more roaming room when they grow up.
    I made mine tall enough to easily walk into and because I had some 10ft 2x4's laying around. If you don't want to bend them as much, simply make the front and back bottom frame longer.
    I am 46, female and 5'6" and have no trouble at all moving it around the yard, even without wheels, but if the ground was really rough/uneven I would definately put the wheels on it! The design you showed uses 4 panels, mine only uses 2, with chicken wire or lighter fence mesh for the front and back sides, and I have a door.

    Another option for the frame is 4" PVC pipe. much lighter, and slides easier.
     
  10. moenmitz

    moenmitz Songster

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    Moonwalker-I really liked the idea of your coop-just my panels are really heavy gauge ones, I dont think they could bend so much to make a tall coop like that-but the other design I found is very similar and is what like what you were saying-kind of a flattened out version of yours. Once i looked back at the picture again, I see the guy DID put wheels on it. I really like that the size of it allows for more chickens than a typical rectangular tractor-I do have one kinda dumb question for anyone out there...embarrassed to ask...ummm, how do you get the chickens out of the tractor? Pull them over the top panel one by one? That doesn't seem very practical. Also, when you move the tractors, do you have to take them all out first, or can you kind of scooch them along with it? Wouldn't want to run anybody over! Just not sure what the most practical method of doing this would be!
     

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