Meat Chicken Tractor

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by KaliMoran, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. KaliMoran

    KaliMoran In the Brooder

    Oct 2, 2012
    Kittery, Maine
    Hello all,

    My neighbor and I are joining forces to raise our first little meat flock of -hopefully- 25 chicks. I have a few (actually TONS! but I'll stick to a few here...) questions on size and design for the coop.

    I'm planning on building a hoop-style chicken tractor, similar to the design in John Seymour's Self-Sufficient Life. It will have a covered end, but probably not an enclosed "coop" area. As far as size goes... I've read that the rule of thumb for meat birds is 2 square feet per bird, so should I be ok with a 6' x 8' space? I love the idea of that size as it will be drag-able, but it doesn't seem very large. Of course, they won't be full-sized in it for long and chances are a few birds won't make it to slaughter-maturity, so there will realistically be a little more space per bird.

    My other question is about security. Most meat chicken tractor designs I see have simply a 2" x 4" base construction with no buried wire or other back-up. It seems risky to me, but also a very common construction, even for meat chicken tractors with no enclosed coop. Realistically, how often are critters digging in? I've had my layers on our plot for 2 years now and although we did bury welded wire around our run, it has a pretty spacious 2" x 3" opening. Thus far *knock on wood* we haven't had any attempted break-ins, despite rarely shutting up the coop at night. We have woods behind our house, but live in a fairly residential area that doesn't seem particularly rich in predators, aside from a family of hawks across the road.

    Thanks ya'll!

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