help me plan a quick and easy temporary run for young pullets?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dftkarin, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. dftkarin

    dftkarin Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    I just placed my order with Ideal and my chicks should arrive on July 10th and I know they will live indoors for at least 4 weeks probably but I would like to build a simple small portable 'tractor' that I can use this summer to have them safely outdoors without me having to be there every minute, and also that could be used later on as a portable tractor I can use for my 3 hens when they are grown up. My real plan is to hire someone to help me build a chicken tractor with a windowed, insulated roost area above a fenced in run - prism shaped. My real coop plans might take me a month or two to actually get built. I live in a condo and my closest neighbor only reluctantly gave permission for me to get chickens - but she will revoke her permission (and ask me to get rid of them) if anything bothers her (the smell, the look, the noise, the look of muddy/poopy areas, etc...) so having everything attractive is a priority for me too.

    Ok, the real question: What might be the most practical size and way to build a quick tractor? I thought maybe a prism shape with 3' equalateral triangles on the ends and 4' long? That would have a 3'x4' foot print, be around 2' tall? Or would it be more practical to have it be rectangular, with a flat top instead? Since I don't have tools - maybe a triangle would be to hard because the boards need to be cut on angles? A door would be lovely but if its too hard, I could just plan to pick up the tractor to get the birds in and out.
    Any suggestions or ideas, or links to an actual plan would be so appreciated! Thanks for reading all this!
  2. HenHaven

    HenHaven Songster

    Mar 3, 2007
    Coarsegold, CA
    I vote for the rectangle. It is easier to build, and has more usable floor space. I have a triangular tractor, and learned the hard way that you lose a lot of space due to the acute slant of the sides. I love the way the triangular version looks, it's just not the best choice for practical reasons (use of space).

    A simple option is a ring of chicken wire, supported with stakes. I have an area like this and just draped shade cloth/deer netting over the top to keep them from flying out. It isn't predator-proof by any means, though.

    The prism shape sounds nice for your permanent coop. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    What area of the country do you live in? I'm wondering what your weather is like. That may make some difference in what you want to build, too.
  4. LuannKeller

    LuannKeller Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Greer, SC USA
    I applaud your urban chicken plan. Chickens are wonderful pets and eggs are a great food. I am sure your neighbor will enjoy them more then she realizes. A chicken tractor is the most neighbor friendly type of home and they can be cosy even in bad weather. I put a heat lamp in mine during the cold of winter. If you keep moving it regularly there will be no smell or muddy spots and your grass will be greener than your neighbors!

    I agree that the rectangle seems the most efficient use of space. I put a shelf and roost in a a 4x4 with slanted roost. I have a fellow that builds them for $60 and they work very well.

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