Newbie at Chickens and Chicken Tractor

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by brwneggs, Jun 21, 2010.

  1. brwneggs

    brwneggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Northern Indiana
    Hi,
    I have 6 beautiful Isa browns and 1 cocky Isa brown rooster [​IMG] . We dont have a lot of money, so we (my father and I) have constructed a chicken tractor from a shipping crate and metal pipes. I have a big problem- its killing me. The run is waist high, and the coop sits on 2 wheels. I end up pushing it all over the yard. The board which they come down makes it hard because I can only back the coop up to move, and not go foward. It is very heavey for a 47 yr old lady to move around. The door to the run is also waist high, and I crawl in to retreve an egg or feeders or etc. I need to find a nice chciken tractor plan that has the coop sitting high, and the run at least 5 ft. high. We have the supplies, but not a lot of money to purchase a book to use just once. I have looked all over the net for plans, but have come up empty handed. I really love my chickens, they are good birds and I want to give them the best coop ever. Would some like to help me please? [​IMG] Thank you!!!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  2. Hugerat

    Hugerat Out Of The Brooder

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    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
  3. brwneggs

    brwneggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Northern Indiana
    Hi Hugerat! Thanks for the reply.
    I hope I am not trying to be too picky. I love a lot of the styles. Trying to find one that the chickens will not pop out on. I already went chicken chasing after 2 hens and the rooster [​IMG] that was not easy. We have too many stray cats,fox,coyote,dogs that would love to get one of my chickens. I seen cats encircle it.
    I love the styles. And I wish I could build it all myself. Some how i will have to get my dad to sit down, and look at the houses with me.
     
  4. ScaredOfShadows

    ScaredOfShadows Chillin' With My Peeps

    Check out this coop, this may be something you are looking for, it is stationary however and not a tractor.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=16313-playhouse-chicken-coop

    Tractor designs are meant to be low to the ground as that makes them easier to move and not tip over when you try moving them.

    On your existing tractor, maybe try adding a 2nd set of wheels and adding a string to the ramp so you can pull on the cord and tie it off to the top of the run so it won't be dragging the ground when you move the tractor...Also you could modify it by cutting out a hole and adding a nest box or two on the outside instead of the nest boxes being inside...All these things won't take much of any skill or much money. [​IMG]

    Good luck.
     
  5. brwneggs

    brwneggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Northern Indiana
    Quote:ScaredOfShadows

    If I put a cord on their ramp,will it interfere with them traveling up and down? Or could they get hurt on it? Cause I have thought of that, but than also thought of what I just said. Please let me know. Thank you
     
  6. ScaredOfShadows

    ScaredOfShadows Chillin' With My Peeps

    if you put a long thick cord (one thats coated or a wire cord - nothing that could wind up tattering and having threads exposed) and tie it to a small eye hook on the end of the ramp, even off to the side or two eye hooks on either side of the ramp, where it won't interfere with them going up and down the ramp, and have the cords come out the top of the run and tie them together so when they are 'resting' the ramp is completely down on the ground like it should be, this way you can tie the cord up a bit or clip it to hold the ramp up in a position where you can move the tractor how you want.

    I have used this method and I have read and seen pictures of other people with similar things, and I don't think it will be a problem as long as the cord isnt a string or rope where it can get tattered and them peck off threads.

    Here is a rough paint program diagram. - lol don't laugh [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    Fleetwood, PA
    Another option with the ramp is to stop it a couple inches off the ground and attach it with a bracket to the side for sturdiness. That's how we did our coop/tractor and it works great. It doesn't touch the ground, so we can move it forward or backward. The girls have no problem hopping up 2-3 inches to climb up the ramp. Hope this helps.
     
  8. brwneggs

    brwneggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Northern Indiana
    Cindy in PA
    Hi thanks! Thats what my dad was considering. Do you also have little slats for them across it to walk up on? Ours is plain. They use to do the slid. It was cute! [​IMG]

    ScaredOfShadows
    Hi and thanks! Your pictures were aok. I have considered that as well. I kind of like the thing Cindy in PA considered. I just dont want then to get hurt, and that cocky rooster of ours, the way he chases the gilrs sometimes- I dont know!! [​IMG]
     
  9. brwneggs

    brwneggs Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 21, 2010
    Northern Indiana
    (Sorry I had put it in the coop column)


    I just need to find someone who will build me a mobile. My father is old and very comprehensive about bldg another one without plans. I want to build one that is up high, is moble, has a run, with wheels, and they can also go under the coop (Since its up high) and a place for 2 laying boxes. And you can open the side to clean it easy. All that would be easy on my back and knee. I have everything to make it with, I just dont have plans. And the budget it quit tight to go off buying books etc.
    Anyone that would be able to help me out, I surely appreciate it. I love our girls. My husband also has cerebal palsy, so he can not build it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010
  10. rrgrassi

    rrgrassi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Royse City
    How Mobile do you want it? You can use wheel barrow wheels and axles for mobility.

    As far as plans, I did not use any. I just looked at pictures and designed my own coop. I now need a bigger one. It is 30 inches tall and has a roof sloped to the rear. I used 2x6 for the floor and used rabbit cage mesh for the floor. The wall framing is 2x4, untreated lumber. I used ply wood for the sides and roof, and the roof has asphalt shingles on it. The sides are treated plywood that was salvaged for free, I just had to disassemble and remove a partially build shed. The front and back are rabbit mesh, and the access door is 1x4 framed with rabbit mesh. I close off the front and back during the winter, except for the access door.

    I used asphalt shingles on the ramp to my coop. The coop is very heavy, and it's back faces a storage shed.

    The floor dimensions is 6 feet long and four feet wide. The front is 36 inches tall from the floor to roof in the front and slopes to 30 inches in the rear. There are two nesting boxes in the coop. I also used 2x4 treated lumber for the perimeter bracing for the coop legs. Also inside are free standing 2x2 pieces of lumber attached to a 2x4 cut in 4 inch squares for a riser. It is 3 feet long and serves as a roost.

    The nesting boxes have a ply wood strip that is 6 inches tall to hold in hay. One side wall is hinged, so it opens out ward to allow access to the nesting boxes to gather eggs.

    I live on two acres, but due to careless neighbors that let thier big dogs roam (The county did say I can shoot them if I wanted, the dogs, not the neightbors) so total free range is not possible, but they are in an 840 square feet are that is wooded and fenced with cattle panels covered with poulry mesh.

    First off, draw a rough sketch with dimensions. Think of it as building a small, pier and beam, wood framed house.

    I have seen free plans on county extension sites and some college/university sites, especially those that specialize in agriculture and farming/ranching.

    I hope this helps!
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2010

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