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Predators and Tractors?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chicchick, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. chicchick

    chicchick In the Brooder

    Jan 6, 2009
    Eastern Massachusetts
    I am thinking of starting with the tractor/ark design - I am planning on having about 6 chickens. In my area, I have all the predators listed on this site except the bobcat! Are the chickens safe in the tractor? Will the predators get under?

  2. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Songster

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    Tractors are NOT safe. Predators will go under them easily. First thing you need to make sure of is your birds have an inside place you can securely lock them in at night. I've built tractors for friends and it's not that hard depending on the design to make a secure.

    You can make a wire bottom for your ark. If you aren't going to free range your birds when you are home then you can always make a removable side run that's bottomless. I made one for a yard with limited storage space and just designed it to stand on end behind a garage when not in use.

    Good luck. Keep posting.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I dunno, if you have a 1-2' apron type thing all around your tractor, you will be pretty safe from casual predators. That is, you have a wire mesh panel on each side that either is permanently mounted in the horizontal position (makes tractor a pain to move, ask me how I know) or can flip up out of the way for moves and gets weighted with cinderblocks or pinned with tentpegs. It is a rare predator that will start its digging far enough back from the base of the fence to get under that.

    Frankly, few peoples' runs are protected better than this *anyhow*.

    Be aware that tractors are hard to winter birds over in, in cold wintery climates (ok in mild areas); they can be hard on your lawn; and it would be hard to build a tractor that *6* hens were comfy in full-time. If they free-range all day every day all year, no problem, but otherwise, they are going to end up awfully squished in (unless you use a very large, broiler-production-type tractor design, which has its own problems) and crowding is just *asking* for trouble.

    Just sayin',


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