Tractor with fold out run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Groves, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Groves

    Groves New Egg

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Springfield, MO
    We've got an ordinance in our city that requires the chickens to have a pen with a minimum of 144sq ft.

    I only plan on 4 or less hens (yes, I know this will change).

    I've got 1.5 acres or so, and I'd prefer a tractor that I can move around.

    A 12x12 tractor would be cumbersome, so I thought of making a tractor that had some fold out wings.

    This would allow my to have my 144sq ft without having to move a 12x12 or worse around the yard.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. acheeknmanbestfren

    acheeknmanbestfren Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2009
    You could easily build individual sections of run and hinge them together so they will fold up. I'd probably make them 6 footers to make them easier to fold and unfold.

    Your folding run is a great idea, think I'll try it myself!
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    My thought is mainly that nobody from the city is likely to come around with a measuring tape, and if they DO, you just make a second pen which can be attached to the first one to "enlarge" it to the legal minimum.

    [​IMG]

    I'd be careful about trying to make clever fold-out extension wings or anything like that, as they may be difficult to predatorproof or make sturdy enough.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. acheeknmanbestfren

    acheeknmanbestfren Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 10, 2009
    Quote:I got me some idears 'bout that [​IMG]
     
  5. Groves

    Groves New Egg

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Springfield, MO
    I'm a bit nervous for my first foray into chicken keeping to include a reliance upon the city not snooping around.

    For sure the city won't snoop on their own, but it's the neighbors of course that will be initially confused.

    I may just make something sturdy enough for the lawn mower to move, as I really don't want a permanent structure at this point.

    Does anyone just take some netting and stake out an area around the tractor? With 4 hens, I can probably leave the tractor in position for a few days between moves, yes?
     
  6. bantamfan

    bantamfan Out Of The Brooder

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    Heck, I'd just build a second tractor large enough to set next to the one you use, and be able to bolt or screw them together temporatily. If it was me, I'd likely need the second one pretty soon anyway. I'm an addict where my chickens are concerned, a couple is never enough, and so many delightful breeds I'd like to have. The second tractor could be build very lightly to make it easier to move also.
     
  7. poltroon

    poltroon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Another way to look at this is that their pen has to be 144 sf, but they don't have to be in that pen 24x7... they could be in the tractor when they need to be secured from predators, and then have a larger, but not predator-proof yard for nice days when you are home or when the inspector comes by.
     
  8. Groves

    Groves New Egg

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Springfield, MO
    do inspectors send notice? that would be great.

    The whole idea of a tractor is to be small and light. I can see where our ordinances don't conceive of a movable structure, nor for an owner of just a few chickens.

    Maybe I can just call my fenced in back yard the "pen" and use the tractor virtually 24/7

    Good ideas, folks.
     
  9. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    Worst comes to worst and you'll get a "fix-it" ticket. They'll say they're coming out on such a such a date, and it has to be up to code by then. My guess is that they won't care that much.

    The law is probably just to keep people from having 20 hens in a 4X4 pen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  10. Groves

    Groves New Egg

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    Mar 21, 2009
    Springfield, MO
    I guess.

    You can have up to 12 chickens in that 144 pen, and you can have more as long as you have a larger pen.

    I wish they'd just say 12sq ft per chicken or something that let me have a smaller enclosure.

    My dream is to have them free range during the day anyway.
     

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