Is a chicken tractor a good choice for our situation?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Mtnmomma3, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. Mtnmomma3

    Mtnmomma3 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 10, 2013
    My husband surprised us with chickens this weekend. Each of our sons got to pick one out and name it. We have had the birds for three full days now, in a temporary coop. Here is my question: We might want to build a chicken tractor that we can scoot around our 2 acre wooded back yard every few days.

    1) Will this just spread poop around so that we step in it whenever we go in the yard?
    2) Will this help control flies next summer, or make it worse because the poop is over a larger area?

    I was just very surprised at the flies after three days of fall weather and want to avoid problems from the beginning if possible.
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    Quote: Some folks like tractors
    I prefer things that don't add too many extra chores

    A well maintained permanent coop won't have any more flies than a tractor, and is much more predator proof with far less LABOR
  3. ChicKat

    ChicKat Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Congratulations on getting chickens, and welcome to BYC.

    There are a couple of things about poop management...and you are smart to think ahead. I'm guessing that you are planning to have the chickens be layers, and that they will be pets for your boys as well as 'livestock'.

    About the first dozen posts on this thread cover all you would need to know about this new way to manage the poop - but the 'coop' that you have would require a way to get to the space under the roost. Many coops now-a-days for small flocks have trays that pull out for just that purpose.

    I have two coops and runs active right now and in one, the chickens seem to do all their pooping in the coop on the roost, and in the other they never poop in the coop. It is opposites.
    I have poop trays beneath both situations and it is really easy to clean and takes just moments. On the poop trays I put PDZ (stall dry for horse stalls) and the original idea came from the above thread. Prior to that I bought bales of shavings at the feed store -- but it is much larger volume.

    Then get a covered plastic container like a small trash can and scoop the poop into that daily and keep covered. Put shavings in it too - you won't use the PDZ in the nest boxes...and when you clean them out -- dump the shavings into your poop compost. There won't be an accumulation of chicken droppings in your will put them in your covered plastic and from there into your compost pile (far from house and chickens.) it takes about 5-6 months for the chicken droppings to be safe (not too much hot nitrogen) to put on your bushes and plants or even in your garden for fertilizer.

    Moving their tractor around is one good way to NOT have the poop from outdoors accumulate in one place. Having a tractor is generally a fairly small environment for them to be contained in - rather than a large run or letting them free range. The important thing about moving the tractor is that the chickens will take the grass down to bare dirt. They will eat the grass, scratch in the dirt, make dust baths etc. So by moving it - they will have fresh grass, and your ground under the chickens will have a chance to recover.

    Ideally you would let them free range, but there is the risk of predators from everywhere getting them - so you have to take that into consideration. The more space they have, the happier they will be, and the less concentrated any poop will be.

    hope this will help you a little as you decide...and maybe some others can weigh in with ideas.

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