is my chicken tractor big enough?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Dixiebazarre, Mar 15, 2015.

  1. Dixiebazarre

    Dixiebazarre In the Brooder

    Dec 27, 2014
    Bogart GA
    So currently we have some big babies in the brooder that are ready to go outside. They are flying!! Anyhow, we are building a grow out pen that ww hope to use as a tractor too. Right now we have 5 leghorns, 3 chocolate orpingtons (LG bantams) 1 barred rock and 1 buff orpington. The run is 8x4 and the coop is 2x4. It'll have 2 roosts both 2 ft long and plenty of headspace (3ft high) to add more roosts if needed. I know the idea is 4sqft in coop and 10sqft in run but with a tractor clearly we cant make it much bigger than what we have. My question is, at the point we have to take some babies out, how many should I feel comfortable leaving in? I'm thinking all my leghorns and my barred rock. So 6 total.
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Free Ranging

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    The enerally recommended space for each bird of 4 square feet of floor space in the coop and 10 sq ft in the run per bird allows them space to move around, and not be too crowded, which increases issues such as picking. Remember that in bad weather they may be forced inside for long periods of time. So your coop is big enough for 2 adult birds, while your run can handle for 8. You might consider a larger coop, and use the tractor to rotate your birds onto fresh grass.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2015
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
  4. marktoo

    marktoo Songster

    Yeah, I don't see that working out for you! I have 4 Wyandottes. Originally, I planned for 2-3 hens so I got 4 chicks allowing for a rooster or death. They all survived! My tractor is 3' x 10' of which there is a 3' x 3' coopish enclosure with 6' of roost, there is another 3' of roost out in the open area as well as food, water & nest box. The only reason this is workable is that they always have access to a 250' run. They are never locked in the tractor! The tractor is semi permanent, I move it once a year as part of a garden rotation. Everything was pretty peaceful until the #2 bird had a hard molt, there was several days where she wouldn't leave the coop. When she did leave the coop the others banished her, so she started sleeping in the nest box. That was a pain! The molting is over & they all sleep in the coop again but bedtime seems to be a traumatic event, takes a while for them to settle down. They have the option of using the roost in the open area, but they don't or won't for whatever reason. The former #2 is now #4 & things are a bit more tense. Just MHO! Good Luck!
  5. Dixiebazarre

    Dixiebazarre In the Brooder

    Dec 27, 2014
    Bogart GA
    I was wrong, the coop is actually 3x4 so that gives me at least another chicken, right!? :) plus the height is 3 ft and we are doing the stadium style roosts.
  6. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

    Oct 13, 2008
    I suggest going with much more space than the "minimum." The roomier it is, the easier it is to clean, the better they get along, the healthier they are, etc, etc. you'll save so much time, hassle, and grief in future. I personally would not want to design a coop with much less than 15-20 square feet (total area) per bird, as much for my sake as theirs.

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