predator-proofing a movable tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by dftkarin, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. dftkarin

    dftkarin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2008
    I was in the local Farmer's Co-op a few days ago checking out poultry supplies and discussing fencing with the farmers - and they all said that I needed to dig deep in the ground to bury hardware cloth to prevent the many local predators from eating my chickens! They shook their heads at my plan to have a movable coop with the run on the bottom and coop up top - they talked about skunks and racoons and weasels, etc... If I am trying to make a relatively lightweight 2 story coop with the run open to the ground - how can I make it predator-proof? Are there ways to make the trap-door at the bottom really preadator-proof?
     
  2. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    You could wrap the bottom in welded wire, so there's a layer of wire between the birds and the ground... That should keep most predators out. Other than that, I'm not sure.
     
  3. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    On mine, I have a door that closes with a hasp which I can then lock with a caribeener. (I know that's spelled wrong!) I also have a foot long 'skirt' of hardware cloth around the bottom of the tractor that is staked to the ground which helps prevent digging. So far, so good.
     
  4. dftkarin

    dftkarin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2008
    If I had a skirt of hardwear cloth it would make it more cumbersome to move around the yard, right? Also, with the trap door/ramp, I'm thinking the 1st story of the coop - the fenced-in run part will only be 2.5'-3' tall (and the coop part also 2.5'-3' tall), so it would be hard to get to the trap door ramp each night to secure it. Maybe I could have a sideways sliding door that I could slide in and out but the ramp could be permanent, or could be raised up but not have to be as secure as the sliding door?
     
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:I have a 10" skirt on mine that's no real trouble when moving. Although if I had more daytime predators or left the chickens out at night, I'd want it considerably wider.

    Several folks here have flip-up skirts (they can be longer, that way) that are an even better idea in all respects.

    Also, with the trap door/ramp, I'm thinking the 1st story of the coop - the fenced-in run part will only be 2.5'-3' tall (and the coop part also 2.5'-3' tall), so it would be hard to get to the trap door ramp each night to secure it.

    IMO you definitely want to lock them into the house part at night unless you are pretty darn sure about your predator situation.

    FWIW here is my tractor, if it gives you any ideas.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=1642-tractor


    Pat​
     
  6. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    Quote:It doesn't in my case. The hardware cloth is pretty stiff, so it doesn't flop around when I move it. It just stays in place.
     
  7. dftkarin

    dftkarin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2008
    Are there any posts or picture anywhere that describe or show a super secure door between the top story of a 2 story coop? If I have a ramp that I can pull up via a wire, how can I secure the opening without having to crawl underneath inside the first story? Any ideas?
     
  8. coffeelady3

    coffeelady3 Froths Milk for Hard Cash

    Jun 26, 2008
    Tacoma, WA
    I'm trying to get a visual picture....would you be able to lock the door closed from the inside of the coop using a hasp type closure?
     
  9. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quote:Check out the chicken door (from house part down to pen part) on my tractor -- the link is above, in post #5 on this thread. With the sliding piece of metal securely snapped to the pen wire, I don't think anything is getting in. Nothing is getting in thru the people-access doors either, if you look at those pics too [​IMG]

    There are also many other ways to do it of course.

    Pat
     
  10. poltroon

    poltroon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 28, 2008
    California (North Coast)
    I like the skirt idea. I'm trying to build a portable chicken tractor, with the general plan to lock them in at night, but to set it up so that it should be safe for a night or two in case we go away for a weekend. I want them to be able to scratch on the ground and eat bugs etc, and wire on the bottom just seemed wrong.
     

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