Update- Review of new purchased tractor (portable coop)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by orcasislandchickens, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    I love my little bantam orpingtons, but they have been dissapearing, being picked off one by one, from virtually under my nose. I am down to my last two hens. Freely roaming about the yard is over, done with, kaput. They are living locked in the playhouse coop. Truly they seem OK with it, but it bothers me.

    I ordered this small under $100 tractor ( http://www.randallburkey.com/prodinfo.asp?number=10686 ) (MPC has them also and I imagine you can find them other places if you look). It came today. Here is my review of it.

    The tractor is very SMALL (not big enough for permanent quarters for all but the smallest of birds) and light. It is a PERFECT part time tractor for the two girls I have left. I can lift it myself and move it myself wherever I want it, and it is secure enough they will not be taken from it by hawks.

    It is not preditor proof enough to leave them in it outside overnight. To make it safe for that it needs, at a minimum, hardware cloth on the bottom and better latches on both doors (both easy fixes). A pack of big dogs still might be able to tip it over. But the nestbox has a very solid bottom and I carried it around with the girls inside pretty easy by blocking the door to the run temporarily with a piece of cardboard. (poor girls [​IMG] )

    It is out of cedar and fresh out of the box I was worried, but after only a day of airing out it seems just fine. It went together easily, it was pegged so that it fit together before you screw in the screws, very foolproof, and fast, and easy, (I am not handy).

    I think I will use it for now to let the girls dig for bugs in the afternoon when I am home, they can clean up the last of the vegetable garden. I still plan to build them additional permanent run space.

    I can see it being perfect in the future for a sick or broody hen, or as a brooder for young chicks. I like the fact it is small enough it can be moved outdoors during the day and inside at night. So it will for sure be kept as my emergency chicken quarters.

    I am thinking of ordering a second one and giving them paint jobs, these realy are cute and would be fun to seal and paint using lots of different colors. Then when I get 2 more hens I can set both tractors out, two hens each and the girls can still go places I do not want to give them permanently.
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2008

  2. cjeanean

    cjeanean Can't Decide

    Mar 5, 2008
    thanks for the review!!! I have too many chickens to even think about it, but I think it's awesome and very helpful when people buy a chicken product and offer a review for everyone else....
  3. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    Yeh thanks, me too.

    I think it's good to get information from other people that actually use stuff the way you will. You know, maybe they take a shortcut/chance that looks like it might work well. You can find out how it went without reproducing the experiment. I have been following the heated water dish reviews, and winter coop products reviews pretty carefully.
  4. conny63malies

    conny63malies Crowing

    Mar 22, 2008
    Annetta Kentucky
    I read about it and also thought about. But for this price and my handygirl abilities i can make it for less. I can however imagine that it is ideal for a broody hen. I might make one if i have leftover wood from my coop.
  5. jaybme

    jaybme Songster

    I bought this same ark for an emergency chicken pen, and agree with your assesment. I added a locking hasp to the door, and seriously was looking at adding a slider to close the inside doorway. Turned out to not get the chicken, so converted it for a quail pen by putting 1/4 inch hardware cloth over the larger hardware cloth over it. Secure!

    However, one thing I did notice was that the bottom of the "house" part tends to pop up with a kick ( I am clumsy). Solved that with two well placed screws.

    Thanks for the review!
  6. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    I've been thinking of getting something like that for Butterscotch and Woo so they can play in the dirt without getting mugged by the Roos. The are both tiny little hens and never get a dirt bath unless I stand there over them with a broom or rake!
  7. orcasislandchickens

    orcasislandchickens Songster

    Jul 9, 2008
    I have a hen named butterscotch. [​IMG]

    I agree that tractors are easily made if you are handy. I'm not, and labor of any kind is high here. I save quite a bit any time I can find something "off the shelf" that works. [​IMG]

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