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Portable pen - alternative to tractor?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by vermontgal, May 10, 2009.

  1. vermontgal

    vermontgal Songster

    Has anyone tried a pen like this (but perhaps made out of 1/2" hardware cloth panels)?

    I am thinking of making panels, maybe 2' h x 3' wide, and putting 3-4 together on a "string" with hinges, so they can be folded to carry. I'd make two strings. I'd then add a dog house or portable shelter on wheels.

    Has anyone tried anything this, and how would it compare to a rigid chicken tractor? I have a tractor, but it is an a-frame and I find it awkward to move, plus I am worried the rangers won't go up to the second floor to go inside... Thanks for any knowledge.


  2. calgal98

    calgal98 Songster

    I've done that with a play yard and shade screen over it for babies. Worked great until they figured out they could get out when the wind blew over the cover! I'd do it again in a heartbeat! Very versatile. Figure out a more secure top, however!
  3. cackle

    cackle Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Quote:How about a tarp and bungie cords?
  4. HidingInTheHenHouse

    HidingInTheHenHouse Songster

    Jun 21, 2008
    I have a pen similar to that. It is made up of framed sections about 2'x4' covered in chicken wire. Holes drilled in the 2' sections allows me to hinge the panels together with zip ties. Very versatile. I have a completely enclosed pen attached that is 6'x6' on skids so I can move it. I've used it with meat birds before. At their biggest, I had to move the pen 3 times a day to keep them from killing the grass.
  5. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Along the same lines, I have ordered an electric poultry fence that will allow me to create a 40x40 enclosure that is easily moved. It should make for a more pleasant summer for the birds since free ranging is out of the question.
  6. dadof4

    dadof4 Songster

    Aug 30, 2008
    Quote:That's what I'm using too.
  7. mcdaid36

    mcdaid36 Songster

    Mar 16, 2008
    Putnam County, NY
    Will the electric poultry fencing keep out predators like coyotes and foxes? At least once a week we have either one of them trying to get into my meat chicken pen at night.

  8. calgal98

    calgal98 Songster

    It would keep them from coming through, but not necessarily over the pen. I had a hawk kill a chick through my chick tractor (rabbitwire). Couldn't retrieve it, but certainly killed it. I have secondary sides up now that would make it much more difficult for the hawk to get to the little guys and he hasn't been back.
  9. Buster52

    Buster52 Songster

    Jan 28, 2009
    Geronimo Oklahoma
    I'm planning on eventually getting the electric netting. I think it makes sense, since you don't to move it as often as a tractor, and your birds have more room to roam.

    But a bunch of small panels bunched together looks like a lot more work to move daily than a tractor.

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