Winterizing a chicken tractor??

roaminggnome61

In the Brooder
10 Years
Jun 7, 2009
51
0
39
Upper Sanduksy, OH
I have just about finished my first chicken tractor for my "girls". What would be the best way to keep them warm in the winter? I know that I will have to cover the entire coop in plastic. Do any of you have any suggestions on what kind?
 

mkeawsh

Woody Hollow
13 Years
Sep 23, 2007
499
199
281
Beaufort, MO
We put hooks on the sides and attached tarps tightly around them. They are longer - top to bottom - so that any snow or rain will drain off the sides and away from the tractor. I'm sure there are many that have better suggestions. It's all what you imagine and works for you. We have three tractors and will be building a fourth to accommodate the chicks that will be hatching with this batch in the incubator. I make it so all my doors match up on the ends so if I want, I can butt all the tractors together and they have a bigger area. It's nice when we are going to be gone for a weekend or on vacation for the week and they do not get out to free-range. You'll find the best way for you and since this is just the beginning of Summer you have to time to experiment.
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Gail
 

~*Sweet Cheeks*~

Songster
10 Years
Mar 12, 2009
1,708
11
179
Medford, Oregon
MKEAWSH - Could you share pictures of your tractors?

I'm gathering supplies to build a cattle panel tractor and looking for ideas to keep out the rain, how to attach wheels, nest boxes, etc.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
349
341
Ontario, Canada
Tractors are hard to winterize satisfactorily for Serious Cold Winter areas. It would really be a whole big lot better if you could find somewhere to bring your chickens indoors for the winter -- maybe a corner of an outbuilding, a shed, a garage?

If you absolutely have to winterize a tractor, it can sort of be done but is generally not so nifty for you or for the chickens. You still need good ventilation (actually a tiny coop needs proportionately MORE ventilation, per square foot, than a walk-in size one) but because it's important not to have drafts (or blowing snow) coming AT the chickens, you want the ventilation to be not right adjacent to the roost and preferably coming from as sheltered an area as possible.

You can partially enclose the run part of the tractor with plastic or whatever, but, again, not totally.

Good luck,

Pat
 

mkeawsh

Woody Hollow
13 Years
Sep 23, 2007
499
199
281
Beaufort, MO
Quote:
You are correct. The first year my chickens were in the tractors and they did fine with the tarps around them and you reminded me that we also did put bales of straw all the way around them. It so concerned me that first winter when it got to be very inclement weather with the ice and snow storms that the next Summer we build a coop for them to stay in and attached one of the tractors to the side so they could go out if they wanted to. If I knew how to include a pic I would post one of our coop with the tractor, but don't know how to do that.
 

mkeawsh

Woody Hollow
13 Years
Sep 23, 2007
499
199
281
Beaufort, MO
- I forgot to add that we move the tractors in Spring and transport the chickens solely to them. We clean out and close up the coop until next Winter. -

Gail
 

Mayfiel511

Chirping
Feb 19, 2019
27
35
87
New Jersey
You could set some straw bales around it and cover the whole thing with plastic. Of course you'll need ventilation.
That's an awesome idea! I'm sitting here trying to figure out how to winterize my tractors, with a mountain of inedible hay bales on the field that I'm putting in the garden. Thank you sooo much! Love this forum!
 

mkeawsh

Woody Hollow
13 Years
Sep 23, 2007
499
199
281
Beaufort, MO
That is how we do it -bales and heavy duty clear plastic shower curtains so when the sun is shining it heats up the inside like a greenhouse.
 

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