Stationary coop, but need mobile options

GoodGuinea

Songster
Aug 26, 2019
95
107
126
Pennsylvania
Hi! I keep guinea fowl for tick management, and I'm having some trouble. We live in an area with a lot of predators, and my birds keep getting eaten! Not all the time, but the occasional losses add up. It was so bad this summer that I've hardly let them out in the last month. And if I can't let them out, they can't eat the ticks.

My husband and I built our current coop, which has a dirt floor but isn't really mobile (the wire on the sides extends down into the ground to deter digging). I'm thinking a mobile coop/run might be better, so I can move them to different sections of the yard to eat the bugs, but my husband is disinclined after all the work to build the current one. So then I thought about some kind of mobile run to put them in during the day, and then putting them back in the coop at night. But they aren't tame enough for me to move them easily by hand. I could do it, but it would be an ordeal.

I keep dreaming of a mobile run I could park in front of the open coop door, wait for them to walk in on their own, and then close it up and move them for the day. But I've never seen anything like that, so it's probably crazy.

Do you have any ideas? I want my birds to be safe, but I need them to eat the ticks!

(I'll attach a picture of our coop, in case it's helpful somehow. The only change since this photo was taken is that we cut a hatch in the front for easier access to the eggs.)
 

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GoodGuinea

Songster
Aug 26, 2019
95
107
126
Pennsylvania
You should use this as a mobile coop, and build a bigger one with better weather protection as stationary coop before winter.
Do you mean use our current coop as a mobile one? I think it might be too heavy to move around much, even without the wire in the ground. At least, we tried out a couple locations before getting the birds, and it was a beast to move. During the winter, we put clear tarp over the wire sides to keep the snow/wind out (but leaving areas for ventilation) and add a heated waterer, and they've seemed fine. If you think they're not though, I'll look into other options.
 

CindyinSD

All will be well, and that will be well is well.
Aug 3, 2018
6,823
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Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
This is a Suskovich tractor. (Stress Free Chicken Tractors by John Suskovich)

02157587-E818-48BB-87A0-2D256F1DD009.jpeg


I move my meat bird tractor several times a day, just a tractor’s length at a time. The two for layers & turkeys get moved once a day. They’re heavier because of nesting boxes. I use a bit of 2x4 and a shovel to lever up the ends to take off & put on the wheels for the layer tractors. If you’re more careful you can make your nesting boxes lighter than I did. I just lift the ends to put on the wheels of the meat bird tractor. You should always take off the wheels because it makes it harder for predators to get in.

4A069027-F1CA-491C-B592-CFECB477BDFD.jpeg


Here are some construction pictures of one of the layer tractors.

ECFB6CE0-752B-40AF-BF2E-4ABFBB86CA14.jpeg
F8641589-862D-42C0-86C1-A198748E3136.jpeg


The layers and turkeys get a large paddock consisting of 5 lengths of electric poultry netting and a fence energizer. I leave them in one paddock for around a week then move them on. I just move their tractors inside the paddock until I make a new one. You won’t need as big a paddock as I have, though. There are around 50 birds in this pic, but most of them are inside enjoying a little shade.

02DD600B-8C1E-4EBC-8409-4612CC704270.jpeg


If you decide to do this, be kind to yourself and get the good netting & energizer from Premier One. It’s cheaper that way, ‘cause then you don’t have to buy it twice.
 

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Last edited:
Sep 17, 2020
44
52
51
Massachusetts
This is a Suskovich tractor. (Stress Free Chicken Tractors by John Suskovich)

View attachment 1891362


I move my meat bird tractor several times a day, just a tractor’s length at a time. The two for layers & turkeys get moved once a day. They’re heavier because of nesting boxes. I use a bit of 2x4 and a shovel to lever up the ends to take off & put on the wheels for the layer tractors. If you’re more careful you can make your nesting boxes lighter than I did. I just lift the ends to put on the wheels of the meat bird tractor. You should always take off the wheels because it makes it harder for predators to get in.

View attachment 1891371

Here are some construction pictures of one of the layer tractors.

View attachment 1891364 View attachment 1891368

The layers and turkeys get a large paddock consisting of 5 lengths of electric poultry netting and a fence energizer. I leave them in one paddock for around a week then move them on. I just move their tractors inside the paddock until I make a new one. You won’t need as big a paddock as I have, though. There are around 50 birds in this pic, but most of them are inside enjoying a little shade.

View attachment 1891384

If you decide to do this, be kind to yourself and get the good netting & energizer from Premier One. It’s cheaper that way, ‘cause then you don’t have to buy it twice.
Where did you get the aluminum tubing, and what grade is it?
 

CindyinSD

All will be well, and that will be well is well.
Aug 3, 2018
6,823
32,749
1,032
Black Hills, South Dakota, USA
Menards. It's 1/2" EMT tubing, used for running electrical wires. You need a pipe bender to make the angles. I really recommend you get Suskovich's book if you want to build these tractors. He's got the complete materials list, cut list, instructions, etc. But if all you want is the tubing info, that's what it's called. It's commonly available (or was before the "plague"—don't know about now).
 
Sep 17, 2020
44
52
51
Massachusetts
A
Menards. It's 1/2" EMT tubing, used for running electrical wires. You need a pipe bender to make the angles. I really recommend you get Suskovich's book if you want to build these tractors. He's got the complete materials list, cut list, instructions, etc. But if all you want is the tubing info, that's what it's called. It's commonly available (or was before the "plague"—don't know about now).
A lot happens in a few days! It went to get PVC and at the store and the guy said EMT would be better and cheaper, so I ended up finishing it yesterday.
Didnt go off of any plans, came out 5'x10' with a height of 6'.

Needs to be beautified, but I'm glad the chicks are able to be outside the run.
 

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