chicken tractor bottom??? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Is it necessary to attach a mesh bottom to the tractor? I thought the idea was to let the chickens sratch and till up the ground as the tractor was moved around... but without a bottom, how would one move the tractor without causing the chickens to trip and get caught up on the ground cover?

Could one get away with using 2 inch chicken wire or other similarly spaced wire? Seems that would allow the birds to get to the ground but also give them something to stand on as the tractor was being moved.

Thoughts? As usual, thanks in advance, Otter

-- otter360 (, February 06, 2002


I Dont think you need a bottom..... as you move the Chicken tractor to another spot they will soon learn to move with the enclosure... or am i missing something?

-- John B (, February 06, 2002.

A bottom is not neccessary and may even be counter-productive. Your chickens will eventually learn to stay out of the way and until they do, try to keep an eye on them as you move the tractor. We've occasionally "run over" a not too bright chicken but they've never been injured because of it.

-- Bren (, February 06, 2002.

how are they supposed to scratch with a mesh bottom on it?

-- Stan (, February 06, 2002.

my tractor has become a stationary house of late. I covered the bottom of mine with chicken wire to protect from predators digging under. have read that moving the tractor regularly confuses and or makes predators suspicious enough to stay clear but one that doesn't move becomes an easy target. I chose safe rather than sorry. can always remove the wire if I get to rolling again.

-- B. Lackie - Zone3 (, February 06, 2002.

We have been using chicken tractors for years. you do not need a bottom. the chickens will get used to moving very quickly. ours always run to the front when we go towards the tractor because they know that when they get moved they can find new bugs.

We use 2 inch mesh on the top of the chicken tractor and 1 inch on the sides. we have never lost a chicken to any wild animal. before we started using chicken tractors the only time we lost a chicken was when they got hit by cars on the road. putting them in chicken tractors stopped this.

we have pix if anyone is interested.

-- Mary R. (, February 06, 2002.

This reminds me of my chicken starting days I wanted chicks so my husband got with someone he worked with and we went together and ordered chicks.I got them on Valentines day.They stayed in the house for about three weeks and then to the corner of the building till they out grew that.We also bought a house and five acres to move to.because we were moving we wanted to wait for the chicken house.We had to do something they couldnt stay in the building every thing was getting a new coat of black&white paint,hint,hint.We built a 8x8 chicken tractor covered the sides and top with chicken wire then used the tarp for the roof.they lived there for five months on the chilly nights I ran plastic around the sides and stapled.then we had built their new home and moved them in.My husband and I would move this every 2 to 3 days so the grass wouldnt get burnt.It was made out of 2x2's so it wasnt to heavy.We just picked it up high enough to slide it across to a new area.thank you Pam

-- pam (, February 06, 2002.

we have small squared hardware cloth (sturdy) on ours, and then chickenwire over it. this keeps animals from burrowing under, plus our ground is probably not perfectly flat anywhere. the "coop" we move around separately from the run. the run is just an a-frame with chicken wire over it and no bottom for them to scratch in, but they go into the transportable coop overnight, where they are protected. the a frame run has wire over one end and the other hand is attached to the coop, but we detach it before we move it, and move it separately.... when we move coop, they are safe from any "crushing" because there are the two layers on the bottom and they just stand inside (we don't open the door to the run, and move the run first, leaving the door closed). they don't scratch in the coop, just in the run.

but really, they free range when we are home. when not home, they stay in their chicken tractor. also, when we move them we do not let them out for 24 hours. once we moved the tractor from one side of the house to a different out of site spot behind the house....well, the chickens all went and checked it out....and then went and tried to go to sleep back where it had been! so now they must have 24 hours in a new spot...

-- marcee (, February 06, 2002.

Our chicken tractor is an a-frame with a nest box in either end and a roost lenghtwise between them. They get the bottom for scratching. There are access doors at each nest and along the roost.(3 doors on each side.)

It seems to me an easy way to cover the bottom and not be permanent is to set it on top of a board or something. We have some second hand vinyl lattice that might work for that. A predator could not dig in and to remove it "bottom" all you would have to do is to move the coop.

With ours having the roost in the top of the a-frame, we can move the coop at night after the chickens have gone to roost.

-- LBD (, February 07, 2002.

On my tractor, I have a coop on one end that is about 4 ft. high with a removable top. The bottom is covered with one-half inch galvanized wire. Then the attached tractor part is covered, top and sides with one inch chicken wire with the bottom open. I try to move it when the chickens are in the coop. Or move it very slowly, otherwise. But, since I don't move it very far at a time, there is usually no problem.

-- Terrell Voyles (, February 08, 2002.

I will be building a chicken tractor this summer based on a 4x4 foot house with a plywood floor and an attached, open bottom 4x8 foot run. I'm going to put 2 wheelbarrow tires on the side away from the run under the nestbox and handles on the far side of the run. Lock the birds up at night, turn them loose during the day, and drive it around the yard like a giant oversized wheelbarrow! Should hold 8-12 hens.

-- ben wiener (, April 16, 2002.

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