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Help deciding on a coop please

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by kevandtara, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. kevandtara

    kevandtara Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2014
    San Juan Island, WA
    Our family finally moved to a place of our own where we can raise chickens, but I'm having trouble deciding on a coop, whether to go with an Egg Mobile (Joel Salatin style), a tractor, or a stationary coop.
    I love the idea of a mobile coop, but I've read that an Egg Mobile works best with a large acreage or the chickens tend to roost in random spots. We are on one acre. Local predators include raccoons, foxes, eagles, and hawks. There are river otters too, but I don't know how predatory they are. If anybody knows if a tractor is just a lunchbox for these animals, please advise.
    Another factor is an injury I had that makes heavy lifting dangerous, so anything mobile would need to be lightweight.
    We're looking at having about 6 hens for eggs, bug control, and eating down an overgrown fenced vegetable garden. If we had a stationary coop, we could use this garden as a run until they decimate it.
    Any and all advice is much appreciated. Thanks!
    Tara
     
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Boulder, Colorado
    If you have any type of predator problem, I wouldn't trust a mobile chicken tractor to keep them safe. You also don't state where you are and if weather is an issue (cold, high winds, snow). I would spend the $$ and hire someone to build a secure permanent coop (sooo nice to have power when it gets dark at 4) if you can't do the work yourself. With some creativity and a few power tools, you can convert old sheds, trailers, dog kennels... into functional secure chicken coops. You can either free range the chickens with hot mesh fencing or go with a chicken tractor during the day but lock them up at night.
     
  3. mtngirl35

    mtngirl35 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you decide to go with a tractor buy a sturdy built one. I bought a small tractor for using as a broody pen. Its fine for its purpose because I use it inside of my permanent run which is a chain link kennel covered in wire mesh on the sides and bottom and topped off with a tin roof. I would never leave my chickens in it outside the run. But it was just a cheap set up bought for that purpose only. You can find tractors that are good quality. I don't really know anything about the Egg Mobile.
     
  4. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Eastern Md.
    You could build a tractor. You could move it around with a garden style lawn tractor. With a acre of ground, you are going to need one of those anyway. You don't want to push mow all of that. What would make the tractor type coop safe, is the addition of electrified poultry net. See the link below. I have 650' of it, and it has protected my birds going on 4yrs.


    http://www.premier1supplies.com/fencing.php?mode=detail&fence_id=93
     
  5. kevandtara

    kevandtara Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2014
    San Juan Island, WA
    My husband is currently mowing with a push mower, and he's definitely getting in his exercise! We'll be looking for a riding mower come springtime. Thanks for the link. I think we'll be leaning more toward a coop plus fencing.
     
  6. kevandtara

    kevandtara Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2014
    San Juan Island, WA
    Thanks, I was hoping to hear something about predators getting into tractors. It is disappointing, because I really like the idea of rotating them around the yard to eat and fertilize the lawn for us. Maybe we could eventually build a tractor for day use.
    I'm very much appreciating the input!
     
  7. JackE

    JackE Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Eastern Md.
    Predators can also get into regular stand alone coops. Depends on how well they are built. You Can have a tractor, and move it around to where ever you want. And it would not have to be like FortKnox. Because it will be surrounded with electrified fence. That's why I mentioned the poultry net. You can easily move it. Just pull it up, and move. You could run an extension cord out to power it. Or you can even get a solar charger if you want. Totally portable.
     
  8. kevandtara

    kevandtara Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 16, 2014
    San Juan Island, WA
    http://www.pequals.com/at/pasturedchickens/Pastur6.gif
    Here is a pic of an Egg Mobile if you're interested. They work great for large pastured flocks. I'm seeing how that's probably not the best plan for us right now. Maybe later if an egg business takes off for us and we want to expand. :)
     

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