Our newbie poultry palace


11 Years
Jul 17, 2008
Colchester, Ontario Canada
Hello everyone,
We just finished building our chicken tractor/ark this week and this morning we picked up four hens. Here are a few pics and I have some questions. Hope someone can help.

This is the completed coop. We modified this design from Catabwa Coops to add wheels which are on hinges attached to the underside of the coop. To move the coop we lift and fold the hinge to tuck the wheels underneath. Then the coop can be rolled like a wheel barrow.

Here, one of the side panels is off showing the inside. You can see the roosting bar along the length with the two nesting boxes on either end.

And here are our Easter Egger girls:




and Florentine.

My question:
In this picture you can see the floor of their run. We caged in the bottom as well as the sides because we have all sorts of predators in the area.

Should we put some straw or other type of bedding down on this wire? I just don't want them to hurt their feet.

Also, we bought a couple of nipple-type water bottles like the kind you see on a gerbil cage but bigger. The fellow we got the birds from used a regular waterer for them and I wondered if they would figure out on their own that they can get a drink from these bottles.

Hope no one minds all the questions I'll be asking here.
Thanks in advance, Barbara.


In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 17, 2008
SE Michigan
I would watch to make sure that they figure out the new watering system. Make sure each on knows how to get a drink. If it doesn't work a regular waterer is cheap and looks like you've got room to add one.

I love the names! We too choose food names- Caesar, Pot Pie, Pattie, Alfredo, Curry, and Nuggets. And we're vegetarians!

La Banan

11 Years
May 28, 2008
I also love the names of your girls! Are they all girls? Quiche looks very much like a girl version of our Columbian Rock who we used to call Blondie and now we call Whitie but that is just an easy handle until we know who the boys and girls are. He has such a delicious personality we may have to keep him in spite of our decision to keep no roos. But as my teacher once said when asked why he changed his mind - "Because I have a mind to change."!
jan la banan


12 Years
Jun 4, 2007
Western MA
I would offer a regular waterer in case they dont use the new one. Can you post a picture of the watere you mentioned? They are beautiful chickens


12 Years
May 24, 2007
Very nice tractor.

Definitely put shavings or some bedding down on top of the wire. Chickens can get injured from walking on wire, it's really hard on their feet. Actually, if it were me, I'd put flat boards down with bedding on top of them. That would be the best for the chickens.

I've heard of someone using those rabbit type waterers for their chickens. I don't know how hard it is to teach them to drink from them, if it really is possible.

Beautiful chickens... love their names.


11 Years
Sep 19, 2008
Roosts down South somewhere
I have the nipple-based water system you're talking about. Just got my chickens yesterday, and I'm having the same problem with helping them "get" it. Apparently, these waterers are used widely in chicken factories (are heated, don't freeze in winter). BUT the problem is the "get." One of my pullets is too small to stick her head out of the holes in the Henspa coop, to get the water nipple. So I've put another waterer in there, even though they say don't (because once you do, they are even harder to switch). But I did some research and found a lady whose pullet died from not being able to reach it out of her coop holes, either.

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