Straw around my tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by notiones, Oct 17, 2011.

  1. notiones

    notiones Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2011
    Big Springs, KS
    So, not really knowing what I was doing, I built a chicken tractor. It works great during warm weather but, seems too small now that our Kansas winter is close at hand. Plus, the whole moving the tractor every day grew old quick. My chickens also managed to dig up one of my neighbours flower beds so free-range is now out of the question and a permanent coop with lighting and deep litter seems more appropriate. The thing is, I am out of time. I was thinking about stacking up straw bales around the outside of my tractor to help shield them from the cold. I could put a tin roof over this which would still allow adequate ventilation. My question is how dangerous is this for the chickens as far as dust and mold? I have seen several posts warning of both, but not sure what my other options are right now.

    Here is what I am using now.

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  2. Tilly's Nest

    Tilly's Nest Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 2, 2010
    Cape Cod
    I would go down to Home Depot and get a large sheet of plastic. Cover the coop when you expect bad weather and roll up the plastic when you have wintery sunny days. Do not make it air tight, just enough to protect the area from snow and strong winds. I would leave your tractor in one place close to the house too, for the winter season. Hope this helps:)
     
  3. SundownWaterfowl

    SundownWaterfowl Overrun With Chickens

    Tilly's Nest :

    I would go down to Home Depot and get a large sheet of plastic. Cover the coop when you expect bad weather and roll up the plastic when you have wintery sunny days. Do not make it air tight, just enough to protect the area from snow and strong winds. I would leave your tractor in one place close to the house too, for the winter season. Hope this helps:)

    That is what we do with one of our coops. It's mostly wire except the actual coop part. It gets wrapped with plastic before the winter.​
     
  4. Hawkeye95

    Hawkeye95 Chillin' With My Peeps

    First of all.. [​IMG] Another fellow Kansan!!! That tractor is so cute! You did a great job building it! I agree with the others- just go throw a tarp over it and use zip ties to keep it on. You may need to buy a grommet kit to install the grommets, because with our wind, it will be ripped off in no time. I think straw is a great idea too! I just picked up several bales of straw myself and will be putting it along one side to offer a wind break. So, yeah, thats a good idea. [​IMG]

    Come join us on the Consolidated Kansas thread! A lot of us are building coops, and are preparing for our winds and storms we get. You'll get a lot of great advice! Go to the Index, then Where Am I, Where Are You and then look for the Kansas thread I mentioned above! [​IMG] Anyway, I think a tarp will be your cheapest route, especially since you will be building another coop soon and need all your pennies. [​IMG] Put the tarp on night and tight so that the wind can't get under it. I'd probably put the tarp under the bottom of your tractor and secure it that way with the zip ties.
     
  5. flockof4

    flockof4 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 10, 2010
    Webster Groves, MO
    Straw bales would be fine. And a cover would be necessary too like you said. I like your tractor. That thing looks great. As long as they have an area where they can be protected from wind and moisture, they'll be fine. Good luck.
     
  6. notiones

    notiones Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 12, 2011
    Big Springs, KS
    Thanks for all of the replies.

    I already use a tarp that I hold down with bungee cords. It has worked great at keeping adverse weather at bay and the feeder dry so I guess I'll continue to use it through the winter. The bungee cords allow me to easily move the tarp depending on conditions. I suppose I thought the tarp might not be enough. Maybe I'll build a wind block wall with some straw bales.

    Thanks again. And I'll be checking out the Kansas thread too. Thanks for giving me a heads up.
     

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