Would a coop w/ tractorized run work?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by plot_thickens, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. plot_thickens

    plot_thickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Just the facts:
    The city we're planning to move to requires chickens to be 20 feet or more from any domicile.
    We want 2 - 5 egg layers.
    We want minimal work (read: lazy!)
    We will have dogs.
    We will have nosy neighbors who we need to teach about the Good of the Chicken.
    The Bay Area does not get below 30 degrees. We do not get snow. For 8 months of the year, there is no precipitation at all. Then it rains like crazy.
    We will have problems with opossum, raccoon, stray dogs, LOTS of cats, rats, etc.

    So I was thinking... what about a coop with chicken doors in every side? We could create a portable run that could be moved to one or another door so the ladies could destroy different areas of lawn on different days. [​IMG]

    What do you think?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Sure why not? Sounds like it would work. Or you could make a portable tractor and matching veggie beds!
     
  3. plot_thickens

    plot_thickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Was actually thinking about that, but tractors have been pooh-poohed by a whole buncha folks on this board and...
    ...frankly...
    I'm lazy. Eventually that tractor will just not get moved. I can't count on my partner to move it, either, that's not fair.

    And if raccoons can push over entire refrigerators to get to the food inside, they might be able to push over a tractor and cause havoc as well.
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Your idea would work just fine then. My biggest tractor is actually 8x8 and 5 feet high, with a removable roof that is tarped and 4 foot high by itself. Takes 3 people to disassemble and move twice a year. LOL

    A secure coop and movable tractor runs would be fine. I there's a pic I remember seeing that involved such a design on a larger scale. A chicken coop in the middle of a field, and four doors on each side, where birds outdoor time was rotated from field to field. Of course, yours would be a mini version of this idea.
     
  5. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That would be a good idea,then set the tractor right over the raised bed.Having only a few chickens they'd only have to have about 4 beds to get them through the year,then till up the beds each spring. cool. Will
     
  6. plot_thickens

    plot_thickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:That would be a good idea,then set the tractor right over the raised bed.Having only a few chickens they'd only have to have about 4 beds to get them through the year,then till up the beds each spring. cool. Will

    Because chickens scratch, they'd likely completely destroy my favorite french-intensive deep-mulch no-till garden plan. And I'm PICKY about my garden.

    Was thinking about making a chicken tractor that would run in the walkways of the beds. I like cinderblocks, so if the cinderblock raised beds were all the same height and length (shaped like a comb) then the tractor can be pushed to one junction or another and a 'run cover' of welded wire over a frame could be lowered onto the cinderblocks, with a hinged portion covering the single open end of the 'tooth of the comb'. It would work, with just four rebar staples down through the frame and into the soil in the cinderblocks.

    But it's A LOT of work. Whooh! I'd rather walk the chooks through the garden occasionally for them to catch occasional cabbage worms, spotted cuke beetles, and hornworms.

    And I was thinking that the movable run could be on a lawn the dogs could use as a run as well. Although seeing the picture of the roundworm is making me rethink that, urgh!
     
  7. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had'nt built a run for my chickens because I planned to free-range them. It worked all summer and most of fall until the hawk came. I had to move my empty chicken tractor over to the coop and hook it up and the poor birds use that as a run.
     
  8. willheveland

    willheveland Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I do exactly that,Towards the winter I butt one of my tractors up against my winter coop and throw dried leaves in the bottom and bag some up for the winter.As they mat down I add more as needed.On good days I still let them out,but having a metal roof is nice that they can get fresh air while they eat,even during snow or rain.The feed is in the tractor their water inside the coop on a heated fount. Will
    [​IMG]
     
  9. plot_thickens

    plot_thickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Fascinating, thank you! And the pic helps A LOT.

    Is it tough to move the tractor around while the chickens have their feet on the ground? Do they get bumped, or does the whole lot sashay with?
     
  10. rainbowgardens

    rainbowgardens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    When we were housing our chickens in the tractor before the coop was built we would let them out while we moved it. If you do this just before dark and don't move it far enough to confuse their little bird brains, they should go right back in for the night. Of course, if they're not used to going in and out they may need help.
     

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