Chicken Tractors

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by Adrian1976, Sep 10, 2012.

  1. Adrian1976

    Adrian1976 Junior Member

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    I'm looking at building a chicken tractor 6foot high 6 foot wide and 10 foot deep (1.8m x 1.8m x 3.0m). The whole cage will have a stock mesh plus chicken wire covering over the top but not the bottom. The roosting area will be sitting 3 foot off the the floor so the area below for feeding and scratching would be 60ft square.
    The chickens would be staying in the tractor 99% of the time.
    Does anyone know what stocking rates should be used for the larger laying breeds?
     
  2. purplepear

    purplepear Junior Member

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    If the tractor is moved weekly or more often, you could well look at one bird each sq meter. perhaps five chickens?
     
  3. Greyfox

    Greyfox Junior Member

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    It all depends on what you plan to do with them.
    I mean are you using the tractor in a new garden area where you want the ground bare so you can plant into the bare ground, or are you using it to produce eggs or meat, if so you will need to move it to fresh ground frequently, and that depends on the grass / herbage cover on the ground , plus the season, ( drought , wet , normal (what ever that is)).
    If you are after bare ground you will be able to stock heavily for a short time until the ground is bare , or a lower numbers for a longer time.
    With eggs / meat as your many point you may need to move this daily depending on chicken numbers in the tractor. You have to look at who will be moving the tractor, how long will this take, how easy hard is it to move, ( do you need a veichle to move it or is it lite enough just for I person to pull along), can you devote the time on a daily or when needed baises to move it. Also how far away will it be from the house, you have to get water and feed to it dont forget.
    Also another point is what is the ground like, flat , rocky , undulating, and are you having a electric wire down low to protect from cats, foxes or another means of protecting them.
    I dont want to turn anyone off the chicken tractor as they are a great idea and I use them especially if I am creating a new garden , but just want you to cover all the points and know what is involved in this.
     
  4. Adrian1976

    Adrian1976 Junior Member

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    Thanks guys for replying!
    It will be for eggs only, and being on a farm with plenty of lush green grass at this time of year on flat well fertile grounds. The idea was that instead of having a central pen to let the chickens out for the day and then back in at night, it was going to be the same amount of work building the chicken house as with the tractor. The chicken house would of needed to be fox, cat and eagle proof, so instead of having chickens roaming the yard worrying if a predator is about the tractor was going to be a better choice. The tractor would mainly be running between rows of trees planted about two years ago, which wouldn't provide any shade through the hot summer northly winds and cold easterly winters. Just trying to work out a pen that wouldn't need shifting everyday for the amount of chickens in the summer when there would be less pickings. The feed and water would cared for, as being on a main drive into the farm for myself and the owner would make it easy to keep an eye on.
    As for the tractor it is going to be made out of gal pipe that has been found around the farm. Should cost me a cent apart from my time to make, and how am I going to make it mobile. My first thought was to use old bike rims (26inch) with out the tubes and tyres. Using the front forks of the bike then welding them to the frame of the tractor. We get bindi here so didn't want the hassle of fixing flat tyres every time i shifted the pen. Thinking now of using some old cars wheels with the tyres pumped up a bit more than normal. but that ain't an easy fix either as the wheels don't come with bearings like the bike rims.
    Maybe a few more walks around with a beer in hand may just be in store to come around this problem.
    As for shifting the tractor well lucky enough we have a four wheel motor bike that would come into play if need be. But shifting it when first noticing would be an advantage, but if the weight is too much just for one person then so be it.
     
  5. Farside

    Farside Junior Member

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    Does anyone here live in an area where you need to park your chicken tractor indoors over the winter? I'm wondering about the space requirements.

    Any info on a similar situation with ducks would also be welcome. How much water do 4-6 ducks need to be happy if they are kept inside for 4 months?
     

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