How to keep chickens dry in a tractor? Help!

machinfarm

Chirping
Apr 27, 2015
137
39
78
Weatherford, TX
Hello!
We are five weeks in to raising our first chickens so we are really flying by the seat of our pants. We are raising Red Rangers for meat, and since we knew we'd only have them for 12 weeks or so and in decent weather (ha!), we only built them a tractor. Fortunately for the lakes and unfortunately for my chickens, this spring has brought some of the most rain North Texas has seen in many years. There's standing water and mud everywhere and even though the tractor was covered with a tarp, the ground inside is soaking. And it's supposed to keep raining for the next 7 days at least!!
They have roosts which are dry, but I'm afraid that walking around in muck during the day is going to make them sick, will it? While we can move the tractor so they aren't standing in old poop, they will still be in muck. What can I do, or are they going to be ok without my intervention? I thought about trying a deep litter or something inside the tractor but I can't imagine that will stay dry in this for long in the tractor.
 

Oliver Douglas

Songster
Mar 25, 2015
322
69
108
I covered ours with a few cheap plastic tarps held in place with bungee cords. Should keep some of the rain off the ground. Remember, in the wild they are ALWAYS walking through muck after a good rain. Some of them seem to enjoy it...the worms come out, and it's buffet time.
 

machinfarm

Chirping
Apr 27, 2015
137
39
78
Weatherford, TX
It is not covered on the bottom :/ Do you think if I put down some plywood or something that would be better than nothing? It would get damp but hopefully would keep them from having to learn to swim!
 

machinfarm

Chirping
Apr 27, 2015
137
39
78
Weatherford, TX
Oliver Douglas, that's true, I guess they do survive in the wild without me fussing over them, lol. Our tractor is covered with a tarp in the rain but the ground is just so saturated now from days and days of rain that it's wet despite being covered. Is it enough that they can get up on the roosts to dry their feet?
 

Oliver Douglas

Songster
Mar 25, 2015
322
69
108
Plywood might be a bit slippery when it gets wet, and then they will be ice skating across the tractor. Water will collect under it, and will likely break down the plywood over time. And water will still collect on the surface. Are we talking about 40 days and 40 nights of rain? Might need to build an ark....but can only take two of each....
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Seriously, I think some of us chicken folks thinks our little flock is a bunch of snowflakes that can't fend for themselves....they are little dinosaurs.....been around for millions of years....probably outlast us. So long as there is food and water, they can usually take care of their little issues. So long as they have a place to chill at night, they seem to do just find. Ours experienced their first rain storm this week, and they wouldn't even go to the dry section. Walked around like it was the best thing since sliced bread.
 

Oliver Douglas

Songster
Mar 25, 2015
322
69
108
Not so familiar with meat birds, so I will pass to others more knowledgeable on the subject. Not enough meat on my chickens yet, even though they eat like pigs.
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MANNA-PRO

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