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What do you think of this coop-tractor? And will I be able to move it?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Fenika, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 25, 2010
    I've been drawing up plans for a 6x6 coop, and hoping it isn't too large to move. This is for my new place in North Carolina.

    The bottom will be hardware cloth so they can enjoy the grass (though I worry about excess moisture??) The sides up to 4 feet will be thin plywood framed with 2x4s and 2x2s. I'll have hardware cloth at the top for windows. The front will be about 6'4" and the back 4'. Most importantly, I have 10" wheels (my first coop-material purchase!) that I will attach to the back to move the tractor and then take off for safe storage.

    The chute will attach to an 8x10 run- also movable and on wheels.

    What do you think? I have the individual walls sketched up, and it seems reasonable.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  2. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh, and don't mind the window planter. I needed to add that special touch [​IMG]

    But if I made it easy to slide on and off.... [​IMG]
     
  3. pidgey104

    pidgey104 Cochins R Us

    Nov 10, 2007
    Panama City ,Florida
    Maybe instead of 2 X 4s Try 2 x3s? They are lighter
     
  4. cjdmashley

    cjdmashley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    or to save wood and money just rip down your 2x4's. 2x4's enev with thin plywood would probably be a bit heavy
    just a thought good luck!
     
  5. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, I am worried about the 2x4s being too heavy.

    The roof is going to be the heaviest thing- thin plywood, a few beams with bubble wrap between them, and then a metal or plastic roof on top. I'd think 2x2s or 2x3s would hold that up, but then again I don't actually know. [​IMG]
     
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Tractors are usually open on the bottom so chickens can scratch in the grass. Hardware cloth on the bottom could be hard on their feet...and they really won't be able to scratch well through it.

    If the hardware cloth you use has small openings, droppings will catch on the wire instead of being left behind when you move the tractor. The wire bottom could get pretty nasty after a short while.

    Instead of a wire bottom, have you considered a wire apron? If you weight it down well, an apron can deter digging predators quite well, and has none of the disadvantages of a wire bottom.
     
  7. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was going to do an apron and a wire floor. I'm so worried about someone getting my babies (other than me, anyways, since over half will be for dinner when mature!). Will an apron be enough at night? I could always put 2x4 or 4x4 wire on the bottom of the coop? They will have the run to go out and scratch in.

    I have parrots, so I know how quickly poop can gather on wire bottoms! Oi. So much to think about.

    Thanks everyone for your input [​IMG]
     
  8. MTFarm

    MTFarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 21, 2010
    I am by no means an expert, but cutting that height could cut your weight considerably.

    I have no 'floor' in our tractor and many on the coop page don't either. (Of course I have chicken wire also and I read repeatedly where everyone says it will last one night.....been a couple years and no trouble).

    Your 'handle' and/or moving apparatus can potentially help/hurt you in moving your tractor as well (leverage).

    Good luck with it.
     
  9. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:What's your theory of this coop, then? If you have a run, why are you building a wire bottom coop? The absolute safest thing you can build is a solid walled, solid floored stationary coop, with stout 16 gauge wire covering the vents and windows. Here's mine:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=32217-the-just-right-coop

    For daytime use, I have a couple of tractors (scroll down):


    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=32217

    Because we have a fenced yard and the chickens are only in the tractors during the day, these tractors don't need to be as secure as something used for night, since most of the worst predators are nocturnal. And when we aren't at home, just to be safe, we move our chickens into the stationary (more secure) runs.

    If safety is your primary concern, I'd build a stationary coop. You won't have to be concerned with weight, and you'll be able to make it much more secure.
     
  10. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I need a coop/run that is easy to move- as in, moving house. (I will have to move by the end of the year, and then in another year I might move again! Luckily I have a truck and trailer.) I plan to make all four walls and the roof be easy to assemble/disassemble.

    I want something easy to clean, so a tractor appeals to me (though I realize I'm making this big and complicated!). I need something comfy and secure for my laying hens. Down the road, when I expand my flock, this first coop/run can be used for broody hens and their babies.

    If I have a stationary coop by night, with a solid floor, and a separate tractor by day, could I just have two sets of nest boxes? Would a hen that usually laid early morning but then found herself in the tractor get upset? Obviously she's still going to lay the egg, but I want my hens happy ofc.

    Also, I have the problem of having odd hours at work, so I might not let them out until 10am and might not lock the coop door until 9pm, regardless of time of year. So they do need free access to their coop, actually. Where's that 'Gahhh!' emoticon?

    [​IMG]

    Maybe I should just make this potentially movable when there's 3 big guys/gals around to help me [​IMG]

    *sigh*
     

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