Permanent Coop *and* Chicken Tractor for a Small Flock?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by britlitgal, Mar 29, 2011.

  1. britlitgal

    britlitgal Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2011
    Poland, Ohio
    We are building a permanent coop and also a smaller chicken tractor for various reasons, but I have a concern that the flock won't take kindly to being separated...? We have 7 girls right now (they are a week old today!), and I don't want to stress them as adults by randomly switching up their abode. Should we just permanently house 3 in the tractor and the other four in the coop, and keep it at that?

    I wish that I could just let them all free-range, but due to the lay of our land, it just isn't possible. Plus we have one tetchy neighbor who would love nothing more than to call in a nuisance complaint if she could. Sigh. [​IMG]
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I guess it depends on your reasons for doing so to begin with??? Why not just a permanent coop? Or why not a chicken tractor large enough to accomodate 7?
     
  3. britlitgal

    britlitgal Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2011
    Poland, Ohio
    The hub wants our tractor to be movable (by me), and the dimensions required for 7 birds would make it large, heavy, and unwieldy. We are using a lot of reclaimed materials rather than purchasing, so we need to make do with what we have at hand. We like the idea of a tractor because it's not in a fixed spot (the hub is already griping about "lawn damage" that hasn't even happened yet!) and he wants to be able to just plop it right in various garden plots.

    The coop we are building will be able to house all of the girls at once and will be located on a back portion of our four acres. The tractor will be closer to the house. I guess what I wanted to know is should I keep the same 3 girls in the tractor all the time, or switch out with the 4 in the permanent coop time to time? Will this disturb them too much?
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  4. spiritdance

    spiritdance Chillin' With My Peeps

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    All I can say is my girls like routine. If I switch things up on them too much, I'm apt to miss out on a few eggs for a day or so in protest. When I moved the main "egg laying" flock into a bedroom in an old trailer (currently being renovated into a mongo chicken condo) with an attached outside run ... nice digs, I thought ... they protested for about a week, even though their new "coop" has electricity for heat lamps and fans, a very generous roost, oversized nesting boxes, and a 5x6 "window with a view" overlooking their run. Of course, now if it thunders just once off in the distance, or the temp is a bit cool, they're all about a lazy day on the roost, but when they first moved in you would've thought the place was a rotisserie oven in the local Golden Corral. So I don't think I could get away with rotating groups like you're suggesting unless I did it on a regular schedule, like a day in, a day out, or something similar. Just my 2 cents ...
     
  5. britlitgal

    britlitgal Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2011
    Poland, Ohio
    Thanks for the input!! [​IMG]
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I'm feeling pretty dense right now. I guess I'm just a little bumfuzzled about the point of doing things this way for such a small flock. Since you have four acres, I'd just give them a set amount of space for their permanent run/coop. When you're talking about a 4 acre property, I just don't see the difference in building a 10 x 10 run or a 5 x 10 run??? Seems like 2x the work to me to separate them...cleaning and tending to the permanent coop each day and cleaning and tending to the tractor each day; close to the house or not, both will require your attention.
    But if you DO split the flock, I'd do it permanently, as most chickens do not do well with change. As was already mentioned, changes often result in egg production temporarily stopping.
     
  7. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For a period of time last summer, I was herding our whole flock of nine bantams into two separate tractors: one for the adult birds, and one for the near adult birds. I did this so that the younger chickens could have some period of the day away from the pecking order stresses of hanging out with the big girls. 3 chickens in one pen, 6 chickens in another pen. It was not as easy as herding the whole flock into one pen, I can tell you that. When one of the younger hens accidentally followed one of the older chickens into their pen, it wasn't easy getting the right chicken to come out again. But it was doable...I did it.

    My hoop pen is 72 square feet with cedar baseboards and is light enough for a 52 year old lady like me to move around the yard.

    [​IMG]

    Something like that might work for your whole flock.
     

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