How big chicken tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Halkatla, Mar 30, 2015.

  1. Halkatla

    Halkatla Out Of The Brooder

    I'll be getting some chickens soon, either 3-4 full sized (orpington, maran, australorps or wyandotte) og 4-5 bantam ones, and Im not sure how big I should build the chicken tractor?

    The chickens will be in the tractor at night and when Im at work, the rest of the time they will free range in my little garden.

    Ive NEVER built anything before and I need something realllly easy so Im thinking something like this (with a closed off coop section with a closeable door, so they are safe at night):


    But yeah.. how big is big enough?
  2. The Kibble Goddess

    The Kibble Goddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2009
    Sylvania, Ga
    My garden tractor is 3'w x 6'l x 3'h. It is big enough for 4 BOs if it is moved daily and they have plenty of free range time daily. It would be better with 3. I've learned that you can not make them too light! A cable eye-bolted to the bottom makes it easier to lift and drag. I have a full -length metal roof that is hinged on one side. Unfortunately, we have a lot of wind and it's gone airborne twice. I just spent half a day putting tie-down chains on it and we've been hit with 20 mile an hour winds tonight. I'm afraid that tomorrow I'll find that the whole thing went airborne this time.
  3. Halkatla

    Halkatla Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks! :) I was gonna make one thats 1 meter (about 3,5 feet) x 2 meter (6,5'ish feet), but the guy at the material shop literally called me an animal abuser for considering putting 3-4 full sized chickens in that, so I kinda started questioning wether I should get chickens at all for a bit... [​IMG]

    Now Im thinking 4 x 7 feet instead (he'll probably ***** at that size too, he seemed puzzled by the whole tractor idea and told me they need a huuge run to be happy at all), but I fear its gonna be really heavy (and hard to get the materials back home in my little Toyota... I have neither pick up trucks or tractors lying around [​IMG])

    Might just get bantams instead, if only they werent such good flyers..
  4. Halkatla

    Halkatla Out Of The Brooder

    Ok so I just ordered 5 bantam orpingtons (excitiiing!) so it seems I wont be needing a super big tractor at least... but how big should I make it?
  5. Halkatla

    Halkatla Out Of The Brooder

    Does any of you know? Ive tried searching the forums for bantam tractor sizes but I cant seem to find much relevant stuff at all.. I have found recommendations for normal coop and run sizes, but do they apply to tractors?
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    4 sq ft per bird for coop and 10 sq ft per bird for run is the rule of thumb for space...but a bare minimum in my opinion.
    Every situation is the article on space in my signature, it's excellent.
  7. Halkatla

    Halkatla Out Of The Brooder

    So I should follow the standard recommendations, even though this is a tractor (as in something Im gonna move around) and not a typical coop and run?
  8. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2014
    Jones County, Georgia
    If you have a small yard that they will free range in why are you building a tractor at all? Why not just build a pen?

    More space is better, it isn't just about them having fresh grass it is about them having enough space to move around in AND get away from each other. If they are locked into a tiny space the likelihood of disagreements goes way up.
    1 person likes this.
  9. JaceAgain

    JaceAgain Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2014
    Coastal NC
    Build something big enough you can keep them in without freeranging comfortably. Think of whatever natural phenomena you have, and build for that. Most chickens wont want to go outside in a hurricane, or in snow. And the bigger it is, the less problems youll have i your flock.

    You also need to train them to come when you call, and plan on spending some time chasing chickens if you want them to go back home in the middle of the day.
  10. Halkatla

    Halkatla Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks, yeah Im not planning to build something tiny :) Its just that I dont really know how small "tiny" is! As a complete beginner these things dont really come naturally, so some basic guidelines are muchly appreciated.

    I am going to let them out in the garden, but since they will be bantams, and since we have stray cats here as well as the occasional off leash dog (I will fence off the garden, but I wont be able to put up a very sturdy fence), it seems risky to let them out when Im not there to keep an eye on them. Ive heard of cats killing bantams before, and since I'll only be keeping a handfull of chickens I really dont wanna lose any. So I was thinking a tractor is a good way to make sure they will get access to grass while being quite a bit safer than if they were free ranging all day

    Also, I might build them a more sturdy coop for winter, even though we dont really get much winter here in my part of norway anymore (I dont know how much you notice it over there, but here in Europe you can really tell the climate is getting warmer. Scary!). Right now Im mostly planning for gentle summer conditions, with 20-30 Celsius. And no hurricanes or other extreme things :)

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