Semi-A frame chick tractor roost question?(pics for review)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by codybird, Apr 7, 2009.

  1. codybird

    codybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2009
    Near Myrtle Beach
    I have built a square top A frame tractor.

    My nesting boxes are on each end with a roost in the middle (second floor). Access to the nests and roosts for the hens will be by ramp up through the roost bottom.

    Should the area under the roost be open, closed, or screened?
    Looking at it from a poop accumulating perspective.

    The tractor is 4' x 8' x 5'5" high. Top is 12 inches wide. Please review and critique.

    Ground level will be chicken wire.

    I will have hinged doors to access the back of the laying nests on each end from the outside.

    I will have roost poles and will reduce the size of the nesting box openings from what is shown.

    The future tenants are 6 black sex link pullets. They are now 6 days old and doing fine. This is my first foray into chickendom.



    Last edited: Apr 7, 2009
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Mainly look at it from a climate perspective: if it ever gets cool and breezy in your area (like down into the 40s) then you don't want a cold updraft under the hens' sleeping bottoms [​IMG]

    If you do live somewhere always-warm, it's a cleaning convenience issue. Look at your design; if it'd be most convenient to just scrape all the poo out every day or two, then a solid floor is best; if it'd be more convenient to use a hose to wash the poo through a screen or a scraper to push it through wire, then use a 1x1 or 1x2 mesh floor. There is really no mesh size that poo will all fall through without chicken legs falling through too.

    There is also the lesser consideration of, what if a predator digs in during the night, could it reach up through 1" mesh and grab birds' legs on the roost and drag them down and disassemble them handful by handful? Which would argue for a solid floor.

    Good luck, have fun,

  3. Omran

    Omran Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    I would like to welcome you to BYC and I think patandthechicken is the real pro when it comes to ventilations,draft and all that good stuff.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

  4. haTHOR

    haTHOR Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2009
    Near Asheville, NC
    good question...we have an extremely similar design and i'm wondering the same thing. i know ours can't be open but i am looking for ideas on catching their poop under the roost somehow.
  5. andehens

    andehens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 25, 2008
    Scenic Sierra Nevadas

    I can't wait to see the finished tractor!
  6. Clay In Iowa

    Clay In Iowa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2008
    Near Wilton Iowa
    Quote:I'd suggest hardware cloth or heavier welded wire. Some of the nastier critters, ie. coons and possums see chicken wire as a minor inconvenience. They will tear or chew through it as a lite snack on their way to you birds.

    A VERY large bore coon recently tore through 1/2 hardware cloth on my barn. Took him a long time to do it but he eventually chewed/tore a hole in it large enough to get in. He won't do it again. [​IMG]

    Oh and welcome.
  7. jonesgirl

    jonesgirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2009
    Great Coop!

    We don't have mangy little critters like all those around here so in my area the floor as chicken wire would work perfect.. I'd be so inclined to leave it open at the bottom...

    Great job It's looking great!

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009
  8. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    My coop is basically the same design with 6 RIR and cold winters, hot summers. I have solid floor covered with linoleum under the roosts, and on top of that I throw some bedding. Each morning when I go out to lower the hatch I scoop up whatever is really messy, throw it in a bucket next to the coop (ends up in the compost eventually), throw a bit more shavings on...
  9. codybird

    codybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2009
    Near Myrtle Beach
    Thanks for the kind words, welcome, support, and advice.

    I am in South Carolina near Myrtle Beach. Hot, hot ,hot summers. I have decided to try hardware cloth for the bottom of the roost because during the summer months it doesn't get below 85 degrees some nights and I think the cooling effect would be required. My plan is to get a brush and every so often brush the poo through the hardware cloth and let the chickens plow it under during the next day. You must understand that I have never raised a chicken and this is all conjecture til I put the plan into effect.

    During the winter I will place plywood over the hardware cloth.
    My thought is cover the plywood bottom with linoleum that I have had in my shed for ten years, because I knew I would need it someday. Hose rinsing poo off is the plan.

    I have openings for ventilation from the bottom to the top like a tipi.

    The roost will be secured at night by raising the drawbridge to the castle.

    A critter would have to get over a chain link fence, through the chicken wire,through the hardware cloth, and also be as silent as a ninja to keep my indoor sleeping Jack Russell from hearing anything and barking like a banshee. There is also very real possibility that if the critter isn't caught in a live trap that it may die of lead poisoning.

    Update: My 7 day old chicks are still alive and doing well.

    Clay in Iowa: How long is a long time? More than eight hours? From your post I assume he could get in but not out fast enough to avoid you. If the chicken wire is not enough, I will put what I call hog wire in addition to the chicken wire around the bottom.( Hog wire is welded wire fence with 2" by 4" openings).

    Jonesgirl: Where on this continent do you live that are no coons or possums???

    Briteday: Do you buy the shavings or is there an untapped avenue for free shavings that I don"t know about.( I am on a zero budget) I wonder if shredded paper would work?

    Thanks again and will do the pic thing at any progress.

    Last edited: Apr 8, 2009

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