Roosts in a chicken tractor

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ella&clara, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. ella&clara

    ella&clara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2010
    I don't have any chickens yet, but I am trying to get my questions answered before I get any. I am planning to use some sort of chicken tractor for layers, but many of them don't seem to have roosts in them, or be tall enough for a roost. I understand that the hybrid broilers are too heavy to roost, but I am looking at getting a traditonal breed, like an Orpington or Plymouth Rock (dual purpose). Don't they want to roost? How high do they want to roost? I want to raise happy chickens:)
  2. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    I use a roost in my tractor. I ran an adjustable metal closet rack thru the wire andcovered it with foam insulation for water pipes. So far they haven't pecked it to death. I also put an old milk crate in there that they like to perch on and run thru.
  3. ella&clara

    ella&clara Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2010
    How high off the ground is it?
  4. BWKatz

    BWKatz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2010
    About 3 ft. They can fly to it or jump from the egg crate
  5. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I have roosts in my layer tractors. They're between two to three feet off the ground which is OK for the dual purpose breeds that I keep.

    Edited to add:

    I don't have a very good shot showing the way the roosts work in my tractors, but here's one that you can get the idea of:


    It was built for my turkeys so the roosts are further apart than what I do for my laying hens. All of my tractors are tall enough I can walk inside of them. I hate having to stand on my head to reach something in a three foot tall tractor.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2010
  6. tedabug

    tedabug Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    I have a closet bar in my run that is 2 feet off the ground. They sit on it all the time. I don't have any available pics of them on it, but you can see it in this picture above their heads....The best thing we did was retrofit the end of the run with a door and changed the chicken wire to hardware cloth. You can see the changes between the pictures, but the roost remains a favorite!
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Quite honestly the reason that many/most commercially-marketed chicken tractors lack roosts is that a) they are designed by people who often have very little idea of what chickens want or need, and b) it costs a lot less to manufacture and ship a tractor that is too low for a roost, and thus is a more appealing economic option to just omit it.

    However it is better for most chickens to have a roost available if you can possibly fit it in. In a perfect world your tractor would be tall enough to permit the roost to be high enough that they can walk under it reasonably easily (like, 16" or so above the bedding for most chickens, with an additional 16-24"+ above the roost for headroom). But of course that is not always possible, and lower is fine too, if you must. (IMHO) even if it is just 6" inches above the bedding, it will at least keep their bums off the pooey floor all night and make cleaning a bit easier. If it will be very low, consider making it lift out of a socket (rather than being screwed on), or hinge upwards, so that it is easy for you to clean the floor underneath it.

    Good luck, have fun,

  8. JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom

    JoAnn_WI_4-H_Mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2009
    West Central WI
    We raise young birds on pasture.

    We made these huts covered with tarps for sliding shelters and tractors.

    When birds are old enough, we add a 2" Diam. tree branch running between the hoops about 18" from the ground. Most of our huts have two branches. We have used rope and/or duct tape to attach them to the hoops and wire.

    Good Luck!
  9. MTFarm

    MTFarm Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 21, 2010
    We have roosts in our tractor---


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