What kind of floor is in your meatie's chicken tractor?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by WVDan44, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    480
    8
    113
    Jul 22, 2010
    MD
    I'm ready to build the living quarters of my chicken tractor. Mine consists of a four-sided canine kennel that is longer than it is wide. I had to remove old damaged chain link and add hardware cloth. I plan on adding a tarp to the top and down the sides a couple of feet. The kennel frame will be integrated into the front of a low shed roof style structure so that the entire array can be lifted and moved. I can't decide how to resolve the floor issue. Should I put a plywood floor in it. I have 24 birds that are almost 2 wks old and they are extremely atheletic and bouncy for CXs. They shouldn't have any trouble going in and out of a living area, given that the step down is not to severe. Let me know how you built yours please. They will be spending the rest of their days in this thing when they are not out free ranging. Should I have a door that I close up at night? I will have a bit of heat in there until they get older and acclimated to being outside all the time. Next batch will be started in the tractor instead of in my house. When it's finished I'll maybe post photos for your critique. Thanks in advance for your comments and (hopefully) photos.
     
  2. bigredfeather

    bigredfeather Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,194
    29
    211
    Oct 1, 2008
    Yorkshire, Ohio
    No floor is needed if you're going to move it.
     
  3. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    480
    8
    113
    Jul 22, 2010
    MD
    no floor in the small living quarters? could the cold, damp ground be a health problem?
     
  4. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    821
    32
    133
    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi WVDan44,

    They'll need something to sit on while sleeping... However a fixed floor may make the whole thing so heavy it's hard to move. That would defeat the purpose of a tractor.

    I sometimes use those cheap foam yoga or camping mats. They do get mucky but it's easy to shift the tractor, scrape off the overnight mat and replace it. As long as the whole area isn't drenched by rain (seeping into the ground under the tractor) they should stay fairly dry overnight and will be very comfortable.

    best wishes
    Erica
     
  5. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

    467
    22
    134
    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    The ground works well. The ground especially in a tractor will stay warmer than you think and will hold the bird's heat in. In heat, the ground will keep the bird cooler.
     
  6. PotterWatch

    PotterWatch My Patronus is a Chicken

    5,470
    26
    288
    Apr 22, 2008
    Virginia
    Ours don't have floors. We want them on the ground where their poop can do some good.
     
  7. homesteadapps

    homesteadapps Chillin' With My Peeps

    257
    8
    111
    Nov 8, 2010
    Ohio
    The only time we add some hay or straw for bedding where they sleep is when it has been extremely wet, but normally the grass is their floor.
     
  8. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    3,479
    50
    246
    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    The whole design of a chicken "tractor" is based on the idea that the birds stay penned up, but you can move the pen to provide fresh forage and leave the manure behind. Most do not really provide any special housing within the pen. Most are nothing more than an upside-down box. Maybe "tractor" isn't the appropriate term for what you are building. It's sounds more like a movable coop/run, for lack of a better term. Anyhow, I wouldn't bother with a floor for the coop area, you'd either have to provide bedding or scrape it often.
     
  9. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    480
    8
    113
    Jul 22, 2010
    MD
    Great advice! And from all you guys with the experience. I do appreciate it. Thanks to all of you for your help.
     
  10. WVDan44

    WVDan44 Chillin' With My Peeps

    480
    8
    113
    Jul 22, 2010
    MD
    Quote:Yes, I understand the concept and I intend to take advantage of the benefits it provides. I will increase my garden space next year. The tractor will be placed so the manure is an important source of organic fertilizer for me. I am relieved to know that most all of you just let them stay on the ground and don't have an enclosure at night. I have a large round igloo shaped dome with no bottom in it that I can put in there at night with a red light bulb for a bit of heat until they get used to being outside. They can go in or out at will. The weather will turn colder next week with temps starting downward into the 40s at nights so I think the shock of just tossing them in there might cost me a bird or two if I don't provide a gradual transition.

    They are only 2 weeks old today and have been brought inside at night so far. But you all have assured me that I don't need a permanent floor. Hey, I'm all about making this as easy as possible, with keeping in mind that I don't want to lose any birds. So far, had only one die for whatever reason; he was a large healthy looking one, and then there is one with a leg that juts out to the side which I think is broken, so I keep him separate from the others because he was nearly killed by them. Other than that, they look great and are growing like weeds, and very healthy. In fact, they are about as normal as any chicken I've ever seen with regard to their physical condition. So far, so good! Thanks so much for your help.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by