Now I'm getting worried. Do I have enough room in my tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by microbiomom, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. microbiomom

    microbiomom Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2009
    South Alabama
    I have an assortment of 6 BEL standard pullets(?) from MPC. They are 4.5 weeks old and are still staying in their brooder at night. We built an A-frame chicken tractor for our urban environment. The footprint of the tractor frame is 6' by 7'. The top and sides are wrapped in hardware cloth and have about a 6" skirt all around, secured with weight to reduce the chance of burrowing predators/pests. The enclosed coop is 4' by 5'. Is this enough room for them as they get older? My thinking was that in our mild climate they would be outside most of the time with coop confinement only at night and in inclement weather? I move it about every other day so they will scratch in different sections of the yard. While reading that coop area should be 4 ft per bird, I began freaking out that I have an insufficient space for the girls. Please advise.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. Royd

    Royd Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good looking set up....Clean and sharp.
     
  3. CityChook

    CityChook Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    Yeah, it's a little on the small side, but you probably don't experience that much weather that would require them to be inside for days on end. I'm sure you will be fine. Glad to hear that you lock them in at night.

    However, I'd try to add a window for some daylight as well as more ventilation. The only vent I see is in the peak - that's not enough for 6 chickens.
     
  4. microbiomom

    microbiomom Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2009
    South Alabama
    DH is still working on the ventilation. A screened and hinged lexan window on interior wall for light and ventilation is going in during the next couple of days. I was wondering about the effectiveness of soffet vents on the sides near the base of the coop area and kinda above the litter line (Does that make sense?). That might give more updraft through the ridge vent. 2 on each side have been proposed but not executed. We will definitely need more ventilation for summer. What do you think? Though he has been a very lovely and willing partner in this, DH wouldn't spring for real plans. Kinda like asking for directions.
    Thanks y'all.
     
  5. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    A 6x7 foot print comes out to 42 sq ft so for six birds that's 7 sq ft per chicken. Provided you move the tractor daily I believe that's plenty of room for six birds even if you never let them out. I size mine to have five square feet to the bird.

    You should have about one linear foot of roost space per bird. In the winter they'll cram in cheek by jowl and in the hot weather they'll spread out as far as they can.

    .....Alan.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    As long as they have enough roost length (8-12" per hen) you should be *fine*, as long as they get out to free range on a frequent basis.

    You for sure want a BUNCH of ventilation or that will become roasting hot during the summer - I would suggest making the wall that is shared iwth the run completely-mesh, with a mesh-screened vent of some decent size (maybe 1x1') on the opposite triangular wall.

    Good luck, have fun, cute coop,

    Pat
     
  7. Luvducks

    Luvducks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2009
    Colorado
    I Like It!
     
  8. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Neat coop and looks good to keep neighbors happy. You need 24 sq ft min for 6 chickens INSIDE space. I would want no less than 60 sq ft OUTSIDE. And citychook is right in that it looks like it is lacking ventilation. That is far more important than concern over cool temps.

    I have lots of space and did a pen that is 80 sq ft per bird. I would like now to have done it bigger than the 2000 sq ft it is for my 24 birds.
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Remember the o.p. is in southern Alabama, though. Quite likely she only needs roosting room for 'em, which would be less than the number you quote. It would be different where I live of course [​IMG]

    Pat
     
  10. microbiomom

    microbiomom Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 9, 2009
    South Alabama
    This string has been so helpful. DH is beginning the adaptations. The babies still want brooder light in laundry room. So we are still at least a week from night time launch of the tractor.
    Thank you again for encouragement and guidance.
     

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