Does a chicken tractor offer enough shelter in winter? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I've been reading up about chicken tractors and viewing photos of them but I was wondering do they offer enough shelter for the chickens in the winter? Or can you add on a more protected type chicken house to one end of the chicken tractor?



-- anita holton (, September 08, 2001


Anita, I just covered the entire pen with clear plastic, except for a strip left open for ventilation on one side near the roof. It worked well. Remember to remove snow from the ventilation area, to keep them from smothering, and also watch that the roof doesnt get overloaded with snow.

-- daffodyllady (, September 08, 2001.

Mine is...but I live in Southern-Middle Tennessee where winters are mild. I use one 60 watt incandesant bulb on a timer for egg laying and a 150 watt heat lamp for heat when it gets REAL cold. It has a totally enclosed upper drafts....that's the real important thing.

-- Jason (, September 08, 2001.

Daffodyllady, Where do you put the chicken tractor in the winter? Leave it in the field? Bring up by the side of a building? I am thinking of putting mine in a sheltered spot between three barns. The barns are on the N, W, and E, forming a square open on the south. The man that owns the barns says I can take all the hay I want out of them for bedding (old hay he isn't using) so I thought this location would be handy as well as sheltered.

-- Cathy N. (, September 08, 2001.

Well, Cathy, the warmer you can keep that coop, the better off your chickens will be. I would choose the south side of a building, with no obstructions to the sunshine. The sun can heat the coop through the plastic quite a bit in the day, and that is all to the good. If you put it between all those buildings, I would worry about not getting any sun.

-- daffodyllady (, September 08, 2001.

It depends on the tractor. I have a chicken tractor that is English style (up on stilts and only half enclosed) anyways, they say that wind in the winter would freeze the birds since it can get under the tractor. Perhaps you could buy a few bales of straw or hay to put around the tractor or wrap it like mentioned. I built another tractor that is basicly on skids and has a tilted roof and one end enclosed. This one moves great, but may not be tall enough for them to get away from the frozen ground. All kinds of ideas out there. My sister had just stacked hay one year and the birds did fine, as long as they were out of the wind and could get off the ground. Brenda

-- Brenda (, September 08, 2001.

Jason: What do you use for electricity? Wired to the barn? solar? battery?

-- Ann Markson (, September 08, 2001.

I move it close to the barn and string an extention cord that a way....less than 50 foot. Not really any moving it around much in the winter....maybe 2 or 3 times to get fresh dirt. I just add lots of hay for the girls to scratch up.

-- Jason (, September 09, 2001.

Daffodyl, We are far enough north that in wintertime the sun hangs off to the south all day. By the barns they should get as much sun as we do (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in mid-winter); the barns won't shade them much. If I don't put them there they will be at the mercy of fierce winds coming out of the northwest. The only other sheltered spot is the east side of the garage, which gets almost no sun in winter. The south side of the house is right under my husband's study windows so I don't think he'll go for that.

-- Cathy N. (, September 09, 2001.

i asked this question not too long ago, and heard from people who keep their chickens in it all year long with no problem. it isn't insulated, and neither are theirs. i will put deep wood shavings in the bottom for them, and if I worry too much I will put hay bales around the bottom or a light in, but my friend who lives a few miles away in the valley (colder down there,and we live in sw wisconsin) has an uninsulated, un-tiny coop with a permanently open door, and she has no problem all winter. no one around me has a problem, so long as ther is a an enclosed shelter. i admit....i am nervous. i am putting my tractor next to the house so i can check on them and just say hi when i go out.

-- marcee king (, September 09, 2001.

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