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Chicken tractor photo share

 
Ryan Mitchell
Posts: 38
Location: Charlotte, NC
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I am working my way to a paddock shift system, but wanted to share our current setup in case people wanted to see a chicken tractor setup that works well. I know Paul isn't keen on chicken tractors, but this system works really well for us and I think the chickens thrive in it. We let the chickens out every now and then, but we give each chicken at least 10 square feet while in these. We have had a few losses over the years to predators, but generally pretty good.

This is version 4.0

The tractor can be moved by most people, there is a hatch to easily access the food and let the chickens walk in and out, We have a hanging waterer, roost bars at different levels inside. It gets moved every day. In the summer we flip the tarp to the silver side to reflect the heat (and run it in the shade), in winter we flip it to absorb the heat. In this method they get new food and ground every day, I have never seen the chicken poop build up and in three years I have done about an hour of cleaning in this thing.

We are in Charlotte, NC so we run them in this year round.
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Ryan Mitchell
Posts: 38
Location: Charlotte, NC
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More photos here.

The one thing that we tried and need to improve is that the autofeed (the [_] shaped PVC thing) doesn't work as well as we liked, sometimes it gets clogged. I think the angle of the elbow is too sharp, that will be an update for version 5.0.

With this system since the chickens have all the grass and dirt to root for bugs, we have feed available, but they eat very little of it. maybe a few ounces a day for all 15 birds (we have multiple coops, not shown).
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Shane McKee
Posts: 108
Location: Northern Ireland
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Nice! Ryan, what do you do about laying boxes, or do you just add them in loose?
 
Ryan Mitchell
Posts: 38
Location: Charlotte, NC
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At first we used cement mixing trays that we just sat on the ground and filled with fresh hay. They have slick bottoms so they just slid when we pushed the coop. Now we have milk crates filled with hay and we hang on hooks on the inside of the door, makes it a little easier and yet still removable.

Now that I think about it, Paul uses a mobile coop to lock the hens up in at night in his paddocks. You could do the same thing with this, just open the food hatch and use your paddock fencing option around it.
 
Shane McKee
Posts: 108
Location: Northern Ireland
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Simple is good. At the moment we (3 chooks) use a semi-mobile coop (old dog kennel on legs) with an attached run, and stick the chooks into a larger paddock during the daytime after they've finished laying. Seems to work. But I like the more formalised paddocking system - the challenge is keeping it secure from predators.
 
Tracy Lee
Posts: 49
Location: NW Arkansas
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Looks great.
The automatic feeder idea is awesome. I may have to steal it.
 
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