salatin-style tractor vs cattle-panel-hoop tractor

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by gladahmae, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. gladahmae

    gladahmae Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2012
    Benzie, MI
    Anyone have thoughts or advice on choosing between these? We're planning (unless I get overwhelming information that this is a bad idea) on building a shelter for our 70 white broilers, and moving it somewhere around 1x a week. The shelter/tractor will be for nighttime protection mainly, and we will have around 20x15 of 'run' space for them as we're going to divide out the run so as to give it time to recover for a few weeks while we rotate the shelter to a new section as needed. I'm also planning on planting a few things in the run besides the "grass" we have here for them to forage on. (also strongly considering doing fermented feed part-time)

    After pricing out the lumber and coverings (steel roof or cattle panels and plastic) it looks like it's just about even price-wise.

    Also, if anyone has a recommendation for a shelter size for this number, I'd love to hear it. I have a number in my head, but I'm not completely sold that it's a "correct" number.

    We've got a month before chicks will be here, and I'd like to have the structure underway or complete before then.
  2. cameronfarm

    cameronfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2013
    Moodus, CT
    I built a small version of the cattle panel unit. I used wooden stakes and wire fencing. I use it only as a temporary holding pen when needed. You have to be careful of dragging it as it will run over chickens. Its small, 4'x8' and even at that my wife cant move it far on her own.

    I thought about Salatins units but never built one, I found out of my little experimental one they didnt really work for my needs. Since broilers don't tend to fly like say leghorns a large fenced pen was more than sufficient.
  3. Tabasco Jack

    Tabasco Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 20, 2013
    Draketown, GA
    I use a Salatin style tractor but mine is 8'x8'x2'. I already had the roofing tin, so I only had to buy the 2x2's and wire.I added a couple of bicycle wheels at the mid points and a 4'x4' door on top. I can run 25 - 35 Cornish in it. They stay in it 24/7 and I have to move it at least once a day.
  4. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2011
    suburbia Chicagoland
    I built a hoop house style PVC tractor - 8' wide, 8' deep, 3' tall. It's not very portable at all, especially with chicks inside it.
    While the chicks are little, you can get away with moving it less frequently (1x/wk), but by mid-life span, you'll be moving it every other day to twice a day at the end of their lives.

    Even with FF, these creatures are poop monsters. My grass run hasn't yet recovered - and it's been since October! I am starting to see new grass coming up, but it's very very spotty. And where the tractors were at the end of life (where it was deepest), the grass is completely burned away. I've reseeded, we'll see if anything can grow there this season.

    BTW, I only had 25 birds! At 6wks, they pretty much filled the base of the tractor while laying down.

  5. gladahmae

    gladahmae Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 17, 2012
    Benzie, MI
    Hmmm. Good things to think about. We get a fair amount of wind (read: there's always a breeze and it gets gusty) so whatever we do will have to be heavy enough that it can't get picked up and thrown around if a storm blows in from Lake Michigan. At this point I'm leaning toward a slightly larger salatin-style tractor because I think it'll be easier to make predator-proof, but the hoop coop seems like it would be easier to deal with food/water stocking.....
  6. vsmenagerie

    vsmenagerie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 23, 2011
    I raised 50 Cx in a Salatin style tractor *I didn't know thats what it was until today though lol* and then moved them to hog panels wired together in an oval when they were pretty much butcher size. To move the tractor, I picked up some lawn mower wheels and carriage bolts. I would slide the wheels onto the bolts, put the nuts on, and it made moving the tractor 10x easier. I then slipped them off once it was moved. We had to move our tractor at minimum once per day though, sometimes we moved it 2-3, because these guys are messy! I made mine so that I could expand it as they got bigger, and it ended up being 8 x 12 at the end. Then I can easily take it apart to put away when I do not have anything in it. We had no issues with predators until I moved them into the hog panels, and then something beheaded 4 of them. I finally just hooked up my electric fence charger to the pen and that stopped it. I did have some of my Cx fly out though. Mine were really active, even at 8 weeks lol Oh and a tip we learned when moving them. Do it before you feed, then scatter feed at the end of the tractor, move it, scatter feed, ect. We had a few get stuck legs but didnt run any over thankfully! Mine LOVED tractor moving time, so would usually flock to the end to get the grass first :)

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