running some ideas by you guys

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pinkfoxfarm, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. pinkfoxfarm

    pinkfoxfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In LaLaLand
    so just running some general thoughts by you guys and gals...

    just moved to a nice little peice of heaven in Western TN and planning my to dos.

    one of the big things i do eventually want to add in the spring is chickens.
    the plan eventually is to have a couple good sized coops 1 for a flock of brown legghorns and one for a mixed fock of "colored" eggers (mostly planning EE's Speckled Sussex, Cuckoo marans and Favrolles)

    but geting the big coops built requires time and money and tools which i dont yet have...
    so ive been thinking about building a starter tractor. something big enough for a flock of 6 hens to get started with, thats got a run attatched and is completly enclosed.

    this will eventually become a rabbit tractor once i can get the bigger coops going...but for now it would house a small flock (4 hens)

    im in western tn so temps get down but mass snow accumulation over the long term isnt as much of a problem...
    heres what i was thinking.

    building a 4 x 4 ft box and put it on a small chunky wheel (i need to be able to move this thing myself by hand)
    instead of having a solid floor i was thinking of putting in a hardware cloth floor obviously it would be fully secured to prevent acess from below.
    this way instead of having to clean it out regularly or haul around deep litter as well as a big plywood box, everything would just drop through and a good once a wek scrub of the coth to remove clingons should surfice.
    the run itself i was thinking of using outdoor grade pvc with hardware cloth top bottom and sides. pvc being nice and light weight so it wouldnt add to the overall weight of the movable system itself.

    but im concerned about the wire floor...assuming its a max of 1" off the ground, would that provide too much of a bottom draft, im not worried about the cold, but i am worried about a draft comming up from below at night.

    does anyone else have a coop with a wire floor?! is this a feesable plan?!

    im hoping to get my first girls in the spring so planning to make the most of the relitivly mild TN winters (im from connecticut lol) to get this built in tme to purchase sme young started pullets in the spring or ready for chicks to go outside if i order in the spring and must be simple emough for a beginner DIY'er to put together with a set square, jigsaw, drill/screwdriver and a hammer lol
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    You're going to need more than 1" of ground clearance if you expect to move it around.

    Personally, I'd just go ahead and build real coops, since it won't require any more tools than building a 4 X 4 box

    If the run is attached, you really won't be able to move it by hand because PVC by itself isn't rigid enough
     
  3. beach livin'

    beach livin' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2 [​IMG]
     
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    A tractor can be useful as housing later for a broody and chicks, a breeding trio, an injured chicken that needs to be separated, small animals like rabbits, quarantining some new chickens, growing out some replacement layers or raising a few meat chickens. If you have the space to park it when you're not using it, I think they can be handy to have around.

    I'm not sure about the idea of the wire bottom, though. Chicken poop isn't small, like rabbit poop. It's much larger. If you have wire that has openings small enough for the chickens and rabbits to walk on, the chicken poop gets stuck on the wire, instead of passing through.

    I'd also want a solid bottom for the roosting area or rabbit sleeping area, especially in winter. You could just add a solid board in that area as needed, though, if you design for it. It's also better for rabbits to have an area to get off the wire, for the health of their hocks.

    I think it's a workable idea, but maybe will need some tweaking. You may want to build it for the chickens, with an eye to remodeling it for rabbits later, if you end up using it for rabbits. Otherwise, you could just go with a typical shed as a coop. It only takes a few easy modifications to make it great housing for chickens.
     

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