Two story tractor question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Uzuri, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    So now I'm hooked on these forums, anyway. Here goes question number two [​IMG]

    I'm looking in to building a tractor similar to this one: http://home.centurytel.net/thecitychicken/tractor37.jpg (Parent site: http://home.centurytel.net/thecitychicken/tractors.html) with one MAJOR difference, in that the top will be enclosed with a floor rather than that open area (with a ramp and door for getting them down and up, of course) so that the chickens can be locked tightly in there at night.

    That said, I'm trying to decide exactly what floor surface I want for that center area, the part that in that tractor is open. obviously a solid wood floor with a sturdy, locking trapdoor for letting them down in the morning is going to keep the critters out best. It's also going to mean one more place to scrape chicken presents out of! Would welded hardware wire, like the bottom of a rabbit hutch, be an acceptable flooring? Or am I just asking for the coons to rip that right out?

    Thanks in advance [​IMG] This site kicks tailfeathers [​IMG]
     
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Hi, welcome to BYC [​IMG]

    I'm going to be up-front and preface my reply by saying I hate that kind of tractor design for most peoples' purposes. (Although if you live in a very year-round mild climate and the chickens will free-range most of the time, it's not so bad). Mainly because it gives them next to no indoor room, and what there *is* is not totally useable because they cannot stand upright along the edges of the space due to the slant of the walls. (Similar comment, tho less of a big deal, w/r/t the slant of the run walls).

    I know A-frames *look cool*, but there are better designs from a chicken standpoint and they really use very little more in the way of materials.

    OK, having gotten that off my chest [​IMG], if you are really hooked on the A-frame concept:

    I wouldn't replace the open area with a close-up-able ramp. Because, when it is open, it will SEVERELY restrict the chickens' freedom to use the already-limited run space. It is an awkward situation to want to put a hinged panel in, but the best thing I can think of offhand is to make a piece of 5/8" plywood the size of the opening and hinge it along one side so that for daytime it folds down and is kept latched against one side of the run. It will mean that side of the run will be effectively mostly plywood but that's not such a terrible thing, gives some shelter from sun,rain, wind.

    There are other designs much better suited to locking the chickens in at night, though. Even other A-frame designs if A-frame is important to you. I think you'd have a LOT better luck with those.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  3. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    So a box-type tractor would be better? I guess it would certainly save me from trying to calculate angles [​IMG]

    I'm looking for something to give them plenty of locking-in space and plenty of run space without weighing a ton, which is kind of why I was going for the two tier approach. Do you have a favorite design?
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    I've seen a variety of good designs, you might browse the Tractor Pages section for ideas if you haven't already. If you go to my personal page (link at left) there is a link at the top of that page to my own tractor page... there are a few things I'd do differently if I had to do it again but I stand behind the general plan. Other ways to do it, too, of course, and I make no claim at all that mine is the best by any means.

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  5. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    I'd stumbled across that one yesterday [​IMG] Cute [​IMG]

    Geeze... so many things to think about. Good thing it takes them a while to get to tractoring size or I'd be in real trouble!
     

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