Tractor question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by pixiechick, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. pixiechick

    pixiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2008
    Jonesborough, TN
    I live in the hills of Tennessee and my yard is fairly uneven and inclined. I would love more chickens to have a tractor so they could go on field trips outside of their coop/run. However, its seems that the tractors need a level surface in order to be secure on the bottom. Does anyone have any experience or solutions for this issue?
     
  2. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 19, 2008
    Hey pixie,

    I live down here in knoxville right below ya. And I know first hand what you are talking about. As long as the chicks can't fit under the side you are fine if there is a little gap since it seems like you are still going to lock them in a coop at night??

    One way to make one is to use pvc pipe, that is glued together then fill it with water. You can get most everything you need to make it at Lowes or home depot. The water makes it heavy enough that most things can't get under it. And with a drain in the bottom when it is time to put it away or really move it a great distance you can let the water out.

    I will try and find you a pic and post a link here in the forum.

    Have a great day.

    Nick
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2008
  3. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    here is a picture of one of course you don't have to make it this big or fancy. How many birds are you going to put in it?
     
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    The slant or slope isn't as much of a problem as the ground being uneven. We live on the side of a hill and used a tractor last year, as a grow out pen for some new chicks.

    What we had to do, was just fiddle a bit with placement, so there weren't gaps along the edges. Also, some areas of our yard, closest to the house, are more level. The steepest parts, we just didn't park it on. We have a large variety of slopes to choose from on our property. It really undulates! [​IMG]

    Gravity fed waterers are a bit of a pain to level with shims. If you don't get it just right or the chickens bump it out of place, the water will all drain out. I find it's easier to hang it or just use a bowl.

    I also like the roosting pole to be somewhat level, so it's running perpendicular, not parallel, to the slope. I think it's more comfortable for the chickens, but maybe that's from my memories of camping on slopes when I was younger! [​IMG] It just takes a slight rotation of the tractor, to adjust that.
     
  5. brookwoodpat

    brookwoodpat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you worry about snakes getting under it in uneven ground? You can make it so a raccoon can't lift it, but what about snakes?
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Slope is mainly a problem for 2-story tractor designs -- the kind that's lower to the ground, not such a big deal.

    As others have said, though, *uneven* is a real nuisance and may prevent you from using the tractor on some areas. The problem is not just chickens getting out thru gaps between the tractor frame and the dippy ground -- the big thing is, predators getting IN.

    For this purpose I would suggest making an EXTRA wide skirt of 1" welded wire mesh (not chickenwire). By extra wide I mean like 2-2.5' wide. You will want to engineer it so it can be flipped up against the tractor wall when you go to move the tractor, or it will hang up on every little bump and anthill plus you won't be able to get close enough *to* move the tractor [​IMG] Then, have some big heavy cinderblocks handy. The extra wide skirt will conform to the dips in the ground (better than the tractor itself, anyhow) and you can weight it down into the dips thrugh creative arrangement of cinderblocks.

    This is NOT a great arrangement for a tractor moved daily, because of the nuisance factor, but it can help with one you move less often.

    I just don't use parts of my yard that are too lumpy or dippy, though.

    Good luck,

    Pat
     
  7. pixiechick

    pixiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jonesborough, TN
    Thanks for all the good ideas! I hadn't heard about the water in the pvc pipes before. Now if it would all cool off enough to go outside.[​IMG]
     
  8. GallowayFarms

    GallowayFarms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ya it is 93 here right now [​IMG]
     
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    We don't have a problem with snakes, here.
     

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