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smokinyoda

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 10, 2014
12
0
55
Western NC
I just registered but have been lurking for some time. Building a tractor and have some questions. It is 4x10', will have an enclosed 4x3' "coop" located 18" off the floor of the tractor, with external access nest box. Was planning to use 1" chicken wire for the floor of the coop to allow waste to drop through, and help with ventilation (gets hot here in NC). Winter time was going to cover the wire floor to eliminate drafts. The biggest negative I have read to wire floors is predators eating there feet. Since my coop will be inside the tractor, with 2x4" welded wire all around (and 24" of chicken wire at the bottom) the predator issue shouldn't be a problem. Any other reason not to use the 1" chicken wire on the floor? Will only have 4 hens so if properly supported there weight shouldn't be a problem. What do you think?



 

jetdog

Songster
6 Years
Jun 18, 2013
1,282
138
148
Massachusetts
Looks like your off to a great start but I wouldn't be willing to go out in the morning and find feetless birds, no experience with a wire floor don't need it in Massachusetts.
 

NaJoBeLe

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
1,425
285
171
Down past the Holler
I understand the logic on the wire floor and think its a good idea. I think I would however try and go smaller. I would be worried depending on the breed that the 1 inch wire might be too large of holes. Predator wise I think you will be fine as you had mentioned. And welcome from the other side of the state.
 

bantamrooster

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
163
27
83
I would also say use a different wire. 1" chicken wire would work but its not gonna be comfortable for them to walk on.
As for the feet eating I have had that problem once. I had some chickens that spent their nights in a rabbit hutch. I only had it happen to silkies which were the only ones that slept on the floor instead of the roosts. It was rats I caught them in the act. So as for them I think your safe if your chickens are on roosts but they will go right up the chicken wire and through the 2"x 4" welded wire.
 

smokinyoda

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 10, 2014
12
0
55
Western NC
My original plan was 1/2" hardware cloth, but everyone that used it said the waste would not drop through. Just built up and was a nightmare to clean. Maybe 2x4 welded with chicken wire on top, seems like it would give better support that way.
 

NaJoBeLe

Songster
5 Years
Mar 25, 2014
1,425
285
171
Down past the Holler
I personally am not a fan of chicken wire for any application that I can think of. Then again I don't have coops with wire floors. My concern with the chicken wire is how thin the wire is. Not concerned of being able to support the weight but the tenderness of chickens feet and possibility of cutting them up. Maybe you could go with the coated chicken wire?? I can see where it would be possible for it not to pass through. We had the same issue with some rabbit cages when I was a kid(don't remember the size of the openings but yes it was a pain to clean them out). Whats the possibility of a poop board that could be pulled and cleaned off every couple of days or so?
 

Belott

Chirping
6 Years
Sep 29, 2013
388
34
92
Belott, Texas
If 2X4 welded wire is what you are using to stop predators it won't matter what you put for the chickens to poop through. You won't have chickens long enough for it to matter. Only 1/2 inch hardware cloth will keep predators out so long as you use screws and not staples.

David
 

smokinyoda

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 10, 2014
12
0
55
Western NC
Well its finally done, and like any tractor it even has smoke stacks! Well actually they supply the food and water, but paint em black and they would pass for stacks. I took everyone's advice and went with a solid floor for the coop instead of wire. My original goal was 4 hens, with a 40 sq ft area that gives them 10 sq ft each. I happened upon a great "all or nothing" type deal and now find myself with 5 young RIR hens. My question now is do I re-home the extra hen or keep her? Tractor will be moved every couple of days, and once acclimated I plan to let them out to graze for a couple hours in the evening a few times a week. I am now trying to build an automatic door opener/closer for the coop, but for now the tractor stays close to the dogs area for night time protection.





 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
3,898
581
Southern Oregon


I like it!

I do think you might get crowded on space, though. It will be one of those "try it and see how things go" things, with the idea you may have to sell a hen or two down the road. Or build more housing


One thing I'd suggest, since you're trying to maximize space, is to put some roosts up in the run. You have lots of nice vertical space there that's being wasted. I just use tree branches poked through the fence holes. You could put several up in there, just to give them more space. If I have a problem with the branch falling out of the hole, I wrap it with some baling twine or similar.

I'd put up at least 4 roosts, staggered in height.
 

smokinyoda

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 10, 2014
12
0
55
Western NC


I like it!

I do think you might get crowded on space, though. It will be one of those "try it and see how things go" things, with the idea you may have to sell a hen or two down the road. Or build more housing


One thing I'd suggest, since you're trying to maximize space, is to put some roosts up in the run. You have lots of nice vertical space there that's being wasted. I just use tree branches poked through the fence holes. You could put several up in there, just to give them more space. If I have a problem with the branch falling out of the hole, I wrap it with some baling twine or similar.

I'd put up at least 4 roosts, staggered in height.
 
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