New here - please tell me if this setup makes sense

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by trchri, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. trchri

    trchri In the Brooder

    Mar 26, 2009
    Hi all,

    We live in the northeast and have bears, Fischer cats, coyotes, etc. I am just starting with my first chicken flock and would like to run some ideas by you guys.

    I am going to start with 4 hens.

    We have a 20x30 barn that is multipurpose. I would like to build a stall in the barn with chicken wire up to the ceiling. This would be big enough for a small donkey (oh yes, there is a greater plan [​IMG] ) and you would be able to walk in and sit with the chickens.

    There would be a chicken door and ramp that would go out to a flat area that is just dirt. It is a pretty packed down area, near our driveway. The pen would have the wire with the apron so that there would be no digging by predators. I would put up netting on the top so that nothing can fly in. This would be their area when we were away during the day. I'm thinking it will be at least 10ft x 10ft.

    I plan on building a chicken tractor that I can have for their daily turnout. This is where I am a bit confused. Do these usually have floors? Or are they heavy enough to prevent turnover? I would not leave the chickens in the tractor at night. Just not sure how many predators are active during the day.

    Eventually I would like to build a chicken coop garden, but it is not in the cards this year!

    Thanks in advance! Love this site!

  2. Tuffoldhen

    Tuffoldhen Flock Mistress

    Jan 30, 2007
    I have two A-frame chicken tractors that I can move if need be. Mine do not have floors so the hens can have grass. I have welded wire all around on the bottom outside frames that come out 2 ft. incase a predator would try digging their way into the chickens. Sounds like your on your way to a nice set up.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Tractors don't generally floors, a) so the chickens can graze and scratch, and more importantly b) so they can walk along as you move the tractor.

    For predatorproofing people often have an 'apron' consisisting of 1-2' of welded wire mesh that lies flat on the ground all around the tractor, ideally hinged to the tractor so you can flip the sections up when you go to move the tractor. For tip-proofing, people mostly rely on a) a low-to-the-ground design, and/or b) weight, either the weight of the tractor itself or extra cinderblocks etc in strategic places if the tractor is inherently lightweight.

    You can't predatorproof a tractor as well as you can (if you try) predatorproof a run or coop, but you can make it pretty reasonably secure for 'normal' locations. Some predators will wander by occasionally in daytime, but not often. The most troublesome daytime predators are likely to be loose dogs.

    BTW, in extending the walls of your 'chicken stall' up to the roof, I'd suggest using something stronger, like welded 2x4" wire mesh. Most chickenwire these days can be ripped apart by an interested raccoon.

    Good luck, have fun, welcome to BYC,


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