Chicken tractor and predatorsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
I'm building a chicken tractor to let the birds have some fresh grass, but not free range. I was hoping to be able to leave them in it at night but was concerned about predators. We definetly have possum, coon and skunks that lurk in the night. What has everyones experience been? Is their a problem with them going under the sides of the tractor? What are some of the tricks to pest proof a tractor?
-- Emil in TN (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 03, 2002
Sorry to say, I lost more (all) in my chicken tractor than just running lose,even had head pulled through the wire.I really want to know what smooth line was used to get her to come over? Of course I could do it now because of the great pyrenees but all my chickens run lose now.
-- snow white (email@example.com), March 03, 2002.
if you have the room, ,let them free range, and put them in at night,, alot easier,, and does what you want to do anyways,,predators are a problem with tractors
-- Stan (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 03, 2002.
Would it help to have chicken wire across the bottom as well? The chickens can still get the bugs and grass through the wire. If you really want to get fancy I suppose you could get a solar fence charger and mount it on the tractor and have the outside of the tractor wired to keep predators away. Okay, okay, maybe that is too expensive. I have a problem with woodchucks getting into my garden and getting everything so I just bought a solar fence charger and plan to protect my garden that way this season. Then I am going to wire the chicken coop as I build that to keep them out of there as well. Losing my animals to predators is my biggest fear so I plan to do as much as I can to protect them before I get any.
-- Colleen (email@example.com), March 03, 2002.
to cover or not cover the bottom of tractors was discussed a while back if you follow the link below. my tractor is covered by chix wire on the bottom because there's not a lot of flat land here and a passel of coyotes and a fox or two around. no loses as yet. knock wood. current residents are ducks. free range during the day and lock up at night. I've read that moving the tractor frequently make the predators more cautious about approaching it.
-- B. Lackie - Zone3 (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 03, 2002.
We have had our chicken tractors for three years and have never lost a chicken to predators (we have seen all the ones you've mentioned). We do have a dog which probably helps and we don't keep the tractors in the "back 40". They're not in the yard around the house but are close enough. I did scare off a possum climbing on one just recently so I assume they've been checked out before.
-- Bren (email@example.com), March 03, 2002.
from experiance. Coons will chew right through chicken wire if they can see the chickens. My pen has a layer of chicken wire. Chewed through. A layer of baby chick wire over that. Also chewed through. and finally, so far, a layer of 2" by 4" heavy duty wire over that. No more losses so far . Wish me luck!
-- Corky Wolf (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 03, 2002.
I don't plan on using poultry netting or chicken wire, much too light for protection. I was going to use welded wire like I use on rabbit cages. I was wondering about covering the bottom with some type of wire. I was also thinking of fully enclosing the roost area and having a door that could be closed at night.
-- Emil in TN (email@example.com), March 03, 2002.
We have not field tested our CT against predators yet but I don't think it will be a problem. Certainly the hawks won't be a problem anymore.
Our CT is heavy (But can be dragged by one person)and has hardware cloth instead of chicken wire. The door flaps are secured rather snugly from the outside. Our area is kind of rural and there are coons, possums, and skunks around but not so many as there used to be. ;-) We live close to a rather busy two land road and often see dead ones on the road and our neighbor live traps them and relocates them. He shoots the skunks though.
Our chicken coop often remains open at night and we've not had anything bother them in there for a long time. Their coop opens into a field about 1/4 acre in size. It could also be because our dog kennel is right next to the coop.
-- LBD, Maryland` (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 03, 2002.
2x4 welded wire on the bottom will keep predators from getting in from the bottom,But still alow the hens to scratch the dirt.
-- M.C.W.in Ark. (email@example.com), March 03, 2002.