Need opinions on tractor run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by seminolewind, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    spring hill, florida
    I've been thinking about a moveable tractor, my hens could use it now, then free range my backyard when they get big (hawks). However, bantams will need it after that.
    I was thinking of an A frame: take 2x2's and create two sides: possible 8ftx8ft squares, cover with wire or hardware cloth. Then, hinge them together at the top to make the A frame. On the sides, nail a strip of leather etc horizontally to keep the sides open at the angle you choose. Then use fabric or sunshade material or netting or screen , cut and nailed to your A frame sides, so that you can fold the slanted hinged sides together. Hope that is explained right. Karen

    Online
     
  2. ChickMomma

    ChickMomma Out Of The Brooder

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    Karen,
    I have a hard time picturing other peoples ideas [​IMG] but I have an A frame tractor. The link to pictures of it is in my signature. It is small. I can only house a max of three grown hens in it at a time but it could be made larger for more chickens.

    PM me if you want more detail about it!

    S.
     
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    This would be bigger, and foldable. I guess I'm going to have to try it out. Karen
     
  4. suburbanhomesteader

    suburbanhomesteader Chillin' With My Peeps

    ChickMomma-
    Is Sam a Treeing Walker Coonhound?

    The pic reminds me of my Willow, gone to the rainbow bridge to wait for me.
     
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I think I understand the first part of what you are thinking. The 8'x8' squares would be hinged. It would be like if you opened a book part way, with the spine in the air and the opposite edges of the book down on the desk.

    I think an A-frame that folds up for storage is a great idea. For the ends, I'd want to go with something more solid, that can be bolted on when in use and unbolted for storage. Otherwise, I'd be afraid that your tractor could be accidentally collapsed. Like if a dog or other large predator was jumping or pushing at it.

    You could also make an A shaped, wire covered frame for the end, that's hinged on one side and secured on the other side, to the 8'x8' sides. If you used a piece of plywood for the ends, it would be easier to install a pop hole or service door. Latches would also work to secure the edge opposite the hinge, if you didn't want to use bolts.

    I'll be interested to see what you come up with!
     
  6. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Woodlandwoman, yes, you got it! To keep it from collapsing, I want to take a piece of wood or strap of leather to prevent it from opening too wide. Then , cover the ends with netting or something, so you can still fold it. How does that sound?
     
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    You also need to keep it from folding when you don't want it to, like closing the book, if it got jumped on or pushed on. I'm thinking leather might fold up and a piece of wood, wouldn't.

    You could also have a strap of leather or cord permanently attached to the ends and just add a piece of wood when you set it up, as a brace. If you added the wood brace at the bottom edge and used a few zip ties to attach the wire at the end to it, along the bottom, it would give more security against something pushing under the end wire to get in. Zip ties would be easy to remove at the end of the season, when you wanted to put it away for storage.

    I think your choices will depend a lot on how you want to use this and what your predator situation is. If you are keeping it up seasonally and the chickens will be in it at night, then having it a little sturdier will be more important for you. If you mainly want to use it just for the day or put it up and take it down more often, then keeping it easier to fold and not messing with as much bracing might work better for you.

    I do love this idea of an easier to store tractor. We parked our tractor under a big blue spruce in the yard, after moving the pullets to winter quarters. I loved raising them in the tractor this year and it was fun having them right next to the patio, but now we have to store this big old thing! [​IMG]
     
  8. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's a clickable picture of my run attached to my mobile coop.
    [​IMG]

    An a-frame run won't work well, unless you stick it out perpendicularly. It will still have a small effective area, as the birds can't get to the ends of the a-where it goes down to the ground, due to the angle.
     

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