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maximum size for tractor and other noob questions

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dulahdaglace, Feb 23, 2016.

  1. dulahdaglace

    dulahdaglace New Egg

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    Feb 23, 2016
    Hey I'm new to chickens and coops and the whole nine yards and I figured BEFORE i build my tractor, i should run it by yall so youcan correct me now instead of me leanring the hard way. i promise i tried to do the research but wasn't finding the answers since my search words were so generic :)[​IMG]
    So I don't claim to be a paint artists, but I wanted to show yall what I had in mind.
    Run dimensions: 10 x 4 x 4 , plus "tail" for railings to move it
    Coop dimensions: 4 x 4 x (3 in back, 4 in front)

    Ventilation: the back of the coop will be all hardware cloth
    Building materials: painted 1x3's and 2x4's for the frame, barn and fence-painted plywood for the coop inside and out, linoleum flooring, roosting bar and bucket-nesting boxes.The roof would come up for cleaning

    My plan: move the girls (3-5 birds depending on how we feel) daily/every other day so they can get new bugs and live plants. We would feed them garden scraps and cleaned eggshells? for calcium. I would have plenty of legumes (clover, beans, amaranth) for their protein. I would supplement the youngins' and during the winter. We live in MO, zone 6- in the winter i would close off some of the ventilation and use compost-heating

    Specific questions:
    1. As a typical office working woman, is this tractor likely to be too big for me to pull (be honest, I won't be offended)
    2. Is the coop too big for 3 gals in the winter? (I don't want them to get too cold)
    3. We have a HEAVY predator population- coons, mice, snakes, possums, cayotes, feral cats, etc etc- does this at least look safe?
    4. Should I line the bottom of the tractor with hardware wire? Will they be able to reach the bugs? If I don't are they still safe?
    5. Am I being reasonable about their feeding habits?
    6. how much winter ventilation should i plan on?
    7. anything you would like to say to a young aspiriing hopeful :D, once again, be honest- i won't be offended
     
  2. chickens r life

    chickens r life Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The Golden State
    1. This will probably be too heavy.
    2. It shouldn't be too big for 3 in the winter. (It does depend on the breed of chicken you have though)
    3. I don't think it's safe enough for the girls. You could create a chicken door for the coop and manually open it every morning.
    4. It is not a good idea to line the bottom with chicken wire. 1- It is not good for chickens to walk on chicken wire.
    5. Cleaned Eggshells are fine. As long as you feed them a balanced diet they should be fine.
    6.It is not good to have too little ventilation because that says "welcome" to bacteria that thrive in warm, damp, dark places. As long as it smells fresh, you are okay.
    7. Are you set on a tractor style coop and run?

    Clark
     
  3. dulahdaglace

    dulahdaglace New Egg

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    Feb 23, 2016
    I will shrink the run and the cut the coop size in half (ah bummer) with the same amount of ventilation. I did forget to mention the slide door into the run. I really like the tractor style coop so they can have fresh live food and new bugs... if its impossible to predator proof it, i will reconsider (which is why im asking yall) but i feel like its been done so many times that there has to be some kind of safe tractor out there....
     
  4. chicapee

    chicapee Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

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    Pass Christian, MS
    I built a tractor and it is too heavy to move, so I took off the wheels and use it as a breeding pen for 2. I like to use a stationary coop and let them free range supervised for an hour or more if I am working outside usually just before sunset. When they will return to the coop to roost.

    This is my tractor and a pic of one of the coops.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. chickens r life

    chickens r life Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I suppose lining the bottom of the run with tractor wire isn't the worst thing. I still advice against it but I have seen people do it before.
     
  6. chickens r life

    chickens r life Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And now what was the slide door into the run? I don't understand...
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2016
  7. dulahdaglace

    dulahdaglace New Egg

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    Feb 23, 2016
    Thinking it through, my slide door idea won't work- it was something i saw on someone else's coop but their run wasn't attached and it would be harder for me to do that. i might have a flip type door that i saw someone else did... ill try to track it down later.
     

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