What predators will dig under a tractor?

jolenesdad

Free Ranging
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Apr 12, 2015
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ive got some chicks coming this week and I’d like to raise them in a moving tractor. I have only ever lost chickens to hawks during the day, but have also had them in a secure coop at night.

I have seen a family of raccoons near where I keep chickens. Do raccoons dig? What other predators do I need to worry about in a chicken tractor where I can still keep it movable? I’m going to
Go ahead and make it out of hardware cloth on the sides and top but am concerned with the bottom not being 100% secure if anyone has had raccoons dig before.
 

Shadowfire

Crowing
Aug 14, 2018
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I'm not sure about coons, but I know that foxes can and will dig to get their food. Weasels can squeeze through holes that are a diameter of one inch, so choose your wire wisely. best of luck!
 

robson1015

Songster
Jan 13, 2019
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Would electric poultry netting deter raccoons (or foxes) at night? I’m thinking while I have them in the tractor maybe i could surround it with electric netting at night. Probably cumbersome, but I’d be willing to do it for a little while.
That would help and maybe a motion detection light since you have the electric there.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
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Would electric poultry netting deter raccoons (or foxes) at night? I’m thinking while I have them in the tractor maybe i could surround it with electric netting at night. Probably cumbersome, but I’d be willing to do it for a little while.
Absolutely! I have my flock contained within a very large area using poultry netting. Don't cheap out on the charger and make sure you use a ground rod to ground it correctly. I use a 10,000 volt, 1.2 Joule output charger and that gives quite the mule kick if you touch it. Makes you say naughty things multiple times too!

Coons, possums, skunks, groundhogs, weasels, minks, fox, coyotes, long list......
What kind of gnarly groundhogs do you have out your way? All the ones in my neck of the woods would never dream of going after anything bigger than a grub.
 
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jolenesdad

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I’ve got a concrete pad attached to the barn attached to the field they would be in. Maybe I could move it back at night to the concrete? Perhaps it would be easier to train the birds to leave the tractor and return to the concrete area for a night coop. Hmmmm.

Thanks for the comments.
 

Kris5902

Crossing the Road
Oct 12, 2018
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Electric poultry netting... I dream of getting the stuff (and electricity!) and getting it up and running... Although training them to return to a coop at night is probably very doable, I’d wonder how well getting them back into the tractor in the mornings would go?

I’ve had escapees when I’ve lifted my tractor too high to clear a rock or rose bush, and boy herding them back into it is fun! I usually get about half of them back in before I have to yell for my husband to come help with them... the last few are usually the hardest as they desperately fling themselves trying to go through the hardware cloth side instead of the open door :he Maybe my chickens are a little dumb?

I built on predator proof roosting boxes for nighttime. It makes the tractor much heavier, but resolved the coon concern for me. You have a very different climate than I do though! Look forward to hearing what you decide on.:)
 

jolenesdad

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Roosting doesn’t quite work for this run, I’m going to start the tractor idea with a few meat birds.

I’ve had to enclose my laying hens permanently due to hawks and would like to try tractors here to see if I can find a solution for getting my laying hens some more ranging time than the hour or so when we are here watching.

I guess with Cornish it won’t be hard to get them in during the morning which was my thought, but you are exactly right it will never work with my laying hens.
 

Kris5902

Crossing the Road
Oct 12, 2018
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I’ve never run Cornish, but am planning meat tractors too. I’m going to take my chances... but we don’t have a lot of predators here. Yes, it’s my laying cockerels that give me the most trouble when they get out. Keep us posted on how it works out, I might need to “borrow” most of your design ;)

This is what my Layers are in 6x12’ with 6x3’ roosting box. It’s worked well for my so far.
B1E89599-FE39-4AAC-A1F5-048656B89C8F.jpeg
1BEC64F1-4C9B-457E-B2BB-F38B9E9F5BD7.jpeg
670C2CAA-89AB-492A-ACA0-8D0454F55665.jpeg


Going to get 4 nesting boxes on the side opposite the roosting bars stacked two wide and two high. I can move them easily myself even being a fairly out of shape 5’7” woman... unless there’s over a foot of snow :hmm (I don’t know how the tractor pulling our Jeep out of the drift go in there for the pics!)
 

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