Locally built chicken tractor -- would you modify this?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by PDXDeweyDell, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. PDXDeweyDell

    PDXDeweyDell New Egg

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    Hey folks. [​IMG] First time chicken owner and first post on the site... thanks for your patience with my newbie questions! I have 3 Delaware chicks that will be moving outside in a few weeks. This tractor seems like a great deal, and I can take advantage of the free delivery: http://thechickentractorcompany.com/Photo_Gallery.html I was thinking about laying down linoleum inside for easier cleaning... what else? Any concerns or red flags? Just was hoping to get some words of wisdom before purchasing.... thank you in advance!!
     
  2. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    The only thing that I think about with most of these tractor types is where is the door? How are they safe at night from predators without a door? A weasel or fox can easily dig under the run area and is then inside the coop if there is no door. Who cares if night predators can get in lower area at night as long as the roost/coop has a door. All I'm tying to say is: it needs a door.
     
  3. PDXDeweyDell

    PDXDeweyDell New Egg

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    Thanks Egghead.... I was considering the version with the closed bottom, but you're right.... a door would be ideal. Not sure that's a deal breaker yet, I'm in an urban area with a fenced yard so predators aren't a huge concern.... but I might try to get some local feedback on the predator situation. Thanks!
     
  4. rebecuna

    rebecuna Out Of The Brooder

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    I'm looking at the same one (only the bigger version)... think I'm going to try to build my own though since I think I can do it for ~$200 and they want $350 + $50 shipping (even though I'm only 20 miles outside of Portland!)... I've never built anything like this so I hope it goes okay!

    You can retract the ramp so doesn't that make it secure? Not sure what other "door" there is... maybe I'm misunderstanding.
     
  5. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It looks like the bulk of the coop is made from cedar fence planks. I know that my cedar fence swells like crazy every winter and shrinks every summer. I'd be concerned about possible swelling in the winter to the point where it's hard to remove/replace the access panel.
     
  6. PDXDeweyDell

    PDXDeweyDell New Egg

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    I might be able to do some additional weather-proofing to cut down on the swelling. I wonder if that's the benefit of the side doors, hmmm. Should I worry about the floor rotting away from the inside? If I don't do the linoleum, would pine shavings be enough to keep it reasonably dry?

    As far as that ramp goes, it's hard to tell how secure the coop would be once retracting the ramp. I might go ahead and make the purchase this week though, I'll ask them if they think retracting the ramp at night is enough protection.

    Thanks guys. [​IMG]
     
  7. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I don't think I'd worry about the predator protection too much. As for the floor, it's not going to rot away so I wouldn't worry about that either. I have vinyl flooring on the floor of my coop so I would recommend that extra step. Helps with clean up and protects the wood.
     
  8. abitcrunchy

    abitcrunchy Out Of The Brooder

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    My kitchen cabinets were built when the house was built and they do that shrinking and swelling. No matter that the kitchen temperature stays close to the same temp yr round. Although it is on a slab so it's colder in the winter. My question is this - does all wood do that?
     
  9. mikecnorthwest

    mikecnorthwest Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think to some extent yes. But I do know that here in the Pacific Northwest our cedar planked fences swell and shrink to the point that gates get jammed shut and the gaps between fence boards disappear. I believe the OP is in Portland, OR which is just across the Columbia River from me in Vancouver, WA.
     
  10. claudicles

    claudicles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have tractors without a door on the night house and the easiest thing it to attach a wire floor. I have two with the wire being the grade of concrete reinforcing so the chickens can still scratch through it and help themselves to the green they are parked on. I have one with a finer grade wire mesh and it clogs with poo. Don't like it. I've had a fox make a good hole under one end trying to get to the chickens on their roosts at night and it had to give up. I don't have tham many other predators so I can't comment on any others.

    If you are planning to move that tractor regularly you might want to look at what to do with the ladder. Attach a rope to it maybe, so you can pull it off the ground so it won't drag. It won't be an issue if you are using the coop stationary.

    Weather proof painting will extend the life of your coop and i would say would be a must with that one.
     

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