Tractor Help...

4CiTyCHicHENs

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jan 20, 2010
97
0
39
MO
Per raising chickens for dummies per chicken you need 2-3 sq ft indoor & 3-4 sq ft outdoors a 3x7 coop provides, 3 sq ft indoor & 4 sq ft outdoor per bird. 3x3ft is 9 inside sq ft, enough to put a double hung vinyl window on the back side (the window is 32x22 so Im sure the tractor footprint will be a little larger than exactly 3x7) the nesting boxes on one side sticking out & on the other side will be the roost the entire length of I side of the coop (3ft)... I guess I'll put food & water by the window... think a rectangle, 2/3rd's hardeware cloth on 3 sides, bottom--the earth & 1/3rd fully enclosed coop with nest box on one side, window on back,openable chicken door on front & roost on side across from nest boxes, that side will also be a fold-down-able to allow cleaning & access to occasional free ranging.


since the coop will be ground level should I maybe hardware cloth the back side to double secure the predator proof ness?

how do you move the tractor? stick the birds inside & pick it up? I plan to have industrial metal handles on the back & front for moving--but what do the birds do while thier hom is being moved??

Im imagining the run side (the whole thing reallly) will be pretty light, enough for a raccoon to pick up--how do you suggest I keep it in place??

since the roost will be on the fold "downable" side? what should i use to secure it closed? hasp latch & master locks?? can you thinnk of anything raccoon/opossom proof thats little less like fort knox...??
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
336
341
Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Yes well, that is one person's opinion/experience (actually two peoples as the book is coauthored)... but without meaning any disrespect whatsoever to the owner of this most excellent site and forum, that is significantly less space than most people find to be the minimum that works well. And in fact I am not even willing to keep chickens in 4 sq ft + 10 sq ft sized space, having SEEN how they behave in larger areas.

So I think it is worth your seriously considering the possibility that providing more space will give you a good chance of fewer problems and easier management.

3x3ft is 9 inside sq ft, enough to put a double hung vinyl window on the back side

You are likely to run into problems trying to put a doublehung window into a tractor. First, because it will unnecessarily increase the weight of the tractor; and secondly because it is likely to break at some point in the not too distant future from the flexing of the tractor as it moves. Safer (and coincidentally easier and cheaper) would be a simple hole with a hinged plexiglas window cover on it, that can be opened however much or little you desire.

how do you move the tractor? stick the birds inside & pick it up? I plan to have industrial metal handles on the back & front for moving--but what do the birds do while thier hom is being moved??

Most people just move it sllowwwly, pulling it along the ground, with the birds walking along inside in the run. They will learn the program quickly. You do need to be able to see them as you move the tractor so as not to accidentally snowplow a straggler
tongue.png


Im imagining the run side (the whole thing reallly) will be pretty light, enough for a raccoon to pick up--how do you suggest I keep it in place??

Cinderblocks make good weights. Since there is considerable advantage to making rigid or flip-down 'aprons' of wire mesh that lie on the ground outside all 4 sides of the tractor, to discourage dogs etc from diggging in, you can put a couple cinderblocks on there and it will weight things down pretty well. No matter how you slice it, though, you can not make a tractor as predatorproof as a fixed coop and run. If you have serious predator pressure, you might think about your options.

since the roost will be on the fold "downable" side? what should i use to secure it closed? hasp latch & master locks?? can you thinnk of anything raccoon/opossom proof thats little less like fort knox...??

You can put a keyed lock through a hasp and hang the key right there next to it -- it will be easy for you to undo, but no raccoon would ever think to try to put the key in the lock and turn
wink.png


Alternatively you could use *multiple* spring-loaded clips (that is, several hasps, each with a clip) but this is really no less aggravation to undo.

Good luck, have fun,

Pat​
 

elmo

Crowing
11 Years
May 23, 2009
4,902
248
326
DFW
I never move my tractor with the chickens inside. It's been very easy to train them to go into the tractor when I want them in there, though. At first I'd throw scratch down in there, and now they know that when I start herding them by slapping my hands on my sides and walking behind them, that it's their cue to head for the tractor.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom