1. jbgettinchickens

    jbgettinchickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 17, 2010
    First time raising chickens and the little cutties are going on their tenth day.
    My husband is designing a chicken tractor (and building it sometime soon if he ever wants to eat again). He tells me the tractors don't have floors in them. Is that true or is he trying to get out of some work? I can believe the run being void of a floor, but the house part? Ground freezes in winter in our climate (Maryland), but it's very rare that the lakes freeze hard enough to ice skate. Do the chickens really just hang out on the roosts all the time. Won't they want to rest on the floor too?? And is the ground a suitable resting spot in the winter???
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It depends what you mean.

    The 'run' part of a tractor almost never has a floor -- only in situations where there are serious predator issues and you're desperate to do everything you can to reduce chicken mortality.

    The 'house' (shelter) part of a meat-bird tractor does not have a floor either, and in warm-winter climates may not for a regular pet/layer tractor; but in cold winter areas, you generally put a floor on the 'house' part for several reasons.

    Note that you will not be able to move your tractor when there is snow on the ground, or really squelchy mud; thus your tractor will be parked in one spot most or all of the winter; thus it will get real real nasty in there, floor or no floor. The best procedure is usually to bed the run with dead leaves, straw, hay, something like that, adding fresh material if necessary; and clean it out when and if it gets too nasty (like in a thaw). The bedding on the ground will give the chickens something to scratch around in and will also keep their feeties off the bare frozen earth (snow is not a big problem, but many chickens dislike bare frozen ground and can potentially get frostbit toes from it).

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. dianaross77

    dianaross77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 10, 2010
    Grand Blanc, MI
    If you're worried about predators, you can cover the bottom with 2"x4" welded wire. It still lets them scratch and graze but would keep anything big from digging under. I used it on my rabbit tractor and attached it with zip ties. It also kept him from digging out.
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    The thing about a floor in the tractor is a) it prevents dustbathing and proper scratching, which are really fundamental chicken behaviors; and b) it requires you to shut the chickens into a (solid-floored) house portion before moving the tractor.

    Thus while it's appropriate for high-predation-risk situations, I wouldn't personally suggest it otherwise.

    JMHO,

    Pat
     
  5. FlipFlopFarmer

    FlipFlopFarmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    run part, no floor, if u need predator protection, use the lil apron method, chickens like the scrathing, put a floor on the coop/night time spot with a door so u can close it at night and move the tractor. sometimes chicken feet get inthe way if u try to move it in the day when they are loose in the run
     
  6. Cargo

    Cargo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2010
    Farmington, NM
    My Tractor converts from no floor in warm weather to raised floor in cold.
    I built a platform for the tractor to sit up on and covered it with linoleum. Works great.

    Pics on my BYC Page .
     

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