Hen per square foot in a tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LAFreewayChickens, May 13, 2010.

  1. LAFreewayChickens

    LAFreewayChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    I built an A-frame tractor about 7' x 4' (that was the length of the scrap 2x2 I had) so about 28 square feet at the base, planning on two hens.

    (To tell the truth its not entirely done yet).

    Having two chicks that are about old enough to move in, I'm wondering how many more I could fit.

    Seems like one more would be OK (still almost 10 sq ft. each), but I'm imagining beyond that might start causing issues, especially if I don't want to be moving the tractor all the time.

    Any thoughts, oh wise backyardigans?
  2. Doug the Chicken Man

    Doug the Chicken Man Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2009
    Near Ottawa, Ontario
    We had 2 white leghorns and 2 commercial hens in a tractor about the same size and had to move it about every 4 hours due to the amount of landscaping they were doing. It also depends on the types of breeds you are putting in it and there size. Our D'Uccles are not nearly so landscape intensive but you still have to move it every day.
  3. chickerdoodle

    chickerdoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2009
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I would only get one more. It helps that they'll be able to forage on grass but more than that can be troublesome. It is best to have three in case you lose one (sad but it happens) and then you don't have a lonely hen. Have fun!!
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    My original tractor (now sold) was exactly that size, with a 2.5 x 4' 'house' area as an upper story. It was about right for the three sexlink hens I had in it. I could've probably squished one more in there without too much friction (but remember, mine had that upstairs, does yours?) but honestly it was really better suited to keeping just 2-3 hens happy.

    I had to move it daily to keep the grass from getting excessively thrashed and too many dusting holes dug. Your mileage may vary, however, depending on a) how fast your lawn grows back and b) how bad you want the tractored-upon spots to look.

    Good luck, have fun,

  5. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I don't move my A-Frame because it's NOT a tractor. I couldn't move it if I wanted to. I built it and it's heavy. But it's very secure. I have a large run around it, so the enclosed bottom section of the A-Frame is just a more secure "run" area.

    If you have a larger run area than just the bottom, wire-enclosed section, you can fit more chickens into it. The rule would be 4 square feet of COOP space per chicken, then; the upstairs would be the coop section. AS LONG AS THERE IS 10 square feet of enclosed run... which in my case, was outside of the A-Frame pen area.

    Am I making sense? Anyway, I think 3 hens would fit okay, and maybe 4 IF you have a larger, exterior run area.
  6. zaybird77

    zaybird77 Out Of The Brooder

    May 13, 2010
    hey, we had one a little larger and we comfortably fit 10 chickens so you should be able to fit 5-7 comfortably. [​IMG]
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Welcome to BYC, zaybird [​IMG]

    Realize that there are different definitions of "comfort". "Nobody killed each other" is one thing, "chickens acted appropriately and naturally" is another [​IMG] They most definitely act DIFFERENTLY with more space available to them. Also risk of cannibalism really does drop, although it is always a *risk* not a *certainty*.

    Just sayin',

  8. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I favor at least five sqare feet per bird in a tractor that is moved regularly. More still if it's not moved much. So twenty eight square feet I'd put in five birds maximum. Preferably of the more laid back breeds or smaller fowl. My tractors are roughly eight by eight and I keep twelve birds max in them and often times just ten. Some breeds/strains take confinement better than others.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by