Parking the tractor, should I build a raised floor for the winter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sksmass, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. sksmass

    sksmass Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2010
    Massachusetts
    I have parked the tractor (~8x8) and am winterizing it. Question: Should I put palletts down inside the tractor with planks on top to kind of raise the flooor off the cold ground, then cover that with shavings? Or would that actually make things colder? is it actually better to have the warmth of the ground (for whhat it is worth) and the shavings right on top of that? I could see the ground acting either as a giver of warmth or like a giant heat sink. So I am not sure if raising the floor would actually be a good or bad thing. I'll be using the deep litter method for the winter, then start moving the tractor again when the snow melts in the spring.
     
  2. Tdub4chiks

    Tdub4chiks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 8, 2010
    Constantia, NY
    I would think that raising the floor would let too much cold air in underneath it. Just my opinion.
     
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    If you put it on pallets you will be creating a rodent condo. Really really.

    Does the coop (house) part of your tractor have a solid floor? If it does, there is no issue. If it does not, what you need is to build a solid floor for it [​IMG]

    For the run, if you are concerned about the warmth of their feeties you can put straw or hay or weeds or wahtever in there on top of hard-frozen ground etc. Indeed you will probably HAVE to, since it will otherwise be a mudpit *before* the ground freezes. This material will have to be raked out and replaced periodically as it gets skanky (particularly when you have a thaw).

    If you did try to raise the tractor off the ground on plywood, it would be best to raise it on cinderblocks so it is a foot or more off the ground, so that it is a less appealing protected space under there for rats and mice to take up residence. But that would be a significant undertaking for an 8x8 tractor and probably not actually necessary.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. Cargo

    Cargo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2010
    Farmington, NM
    That is exactly what I did.
    I found some pallets that has plywood tops while on my way to the store to buy a sheet of plywood. Score!
    They were only about 43" wide so I put in a drop down ramp as a pop door.
    The girls are happy to hang out under it today since it is raining.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  5. sksmass

    sksmass Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 18, 2010
    Massachusetts
    Quote:It is a "hoop coop" with no floor. I've moved it around the yard all summer. Now I've parked it and attached it to a winter run. I'm just trying to figure out what to put on the floor of the hoop coop.
     
  6. Orchid

    Orchid Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 10, 2010
    North Central MN
    We parked our tractor for the winter yesterday as well. I plan to cover the ground with hay once it freezes.
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    I'd suggest building some kind of enclosure to go inside the hoop coop, that DOES have walls and roof and floor. Even if you are on the Cape and have the hoop coop mostly tarped, that's a lot of exposure.

    As far as insulation vs the ground, a foot or so of shavings does quite a lot to keep birds warm on cold nights. The problem is you don't want to do that all over your 8x8 tractor, since a) expensive and messy, b) will get sodden and messy and horrible, and c) there is a good chance of creating a mouse farm.

    If you make some sort of roosting-box type enclosure for them, still with ample ventilation, you can bed that if need be; and then put 2-6" of straw or dead weeds or whatever on the 8x8 floor of the tractor and they should be fine.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     

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