Chicken Coops & Duck Tractors

Chicken coops & duck tractors? I know what you’re thinking… what’s a duck tractor?! It’s like a chicken tractor but for ducks! If that still doesn’t answer it, a tractor is a floorless coop that can be moved. Why is it called a tractor? I really have no idea. Some people say it’s because it’s moveable but I’m not sold on that answer. What it does though is it allows for the benefits of free-ranging your flock but provides shelter for them and keeps them safe. My dad built a tractor for his ducklings and baby turkeys. He plans to build a second one so that as the turkeys and ducks grow he can separate them into two tractors.

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The tractor! You can see the rope handle that we use to move the tractor. There’s a rope handle on each end so that two people can move the tractor if needed (normally my dad moves it on his own).

The tractor that my dad built is based off Joe Salatin’s (Polyface Farms) design. My dad made his quite a bit smaller than the Polyface Farms version to make it easier for one person to move. It’s approximately 2 feet tall, 6 feet wide, and 8 feet long. The front half has wire walls to allow for good airflow and the back half is fully enclosed with metal (roof and walls).

The little ducks and turkeys love their tractor, it’s so cute to watch them line up along the front edge when it’s time to move. They caught on really quick!

Speaking of cute little birds, I can’t leave out my little guys! They have been in their coop for almost a month now and they LOVE it! I’ve made little perches for them in their run and they love to sit on them. They spend their nights inside the enclosed coop and I close the door to the run, in the morning I let them back into the run. When I open that little door it’s like the flood gates opened! They just pile out! Then they fly back and forth across their run stretching their wings out. It’s the same routine every morning and it’s pretty cute.

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The last time you guys saw the chicken coop I was still painting it and it didn’t have wire around the run. I’m really happy with the way it turned out and the chicks and guineas really enjoy it.

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My little chicks have grown up so much! The white chick on the left is my Cinnamon Queen rooster, the red chick in the foreground is one of the Cinnamon Queen hens, and that’s one of the lavender guineas standing on the feeder. 🙂

Someone asked me if we had to keep the chickens (and turkeys and ducks) in their run and tractor all the time or if they ever had time to run around. Due to all the predators we have around us we do have to keep them enclosed. My parents had a hen get out of their run last week (they have a chicken coop with a large run). This particular hen had a habit of getting overly excited and flying out of the run but then wanting right back in. She could never figure out how to get back in so we’d have to open the coop door and she’d go back in. Well, she got out one day last week and none of us realized it, all we found was a trail of feathers leading off into the woods. We were all pretty bummed about it. So the answer is, yes, they have to be enclosed and kept safe at all times.

Alright guys, it’s getting late and this girl is tired. I hope everyone had a great week! I’ll try to post again soon, I have so much to catch you guys up on!

Happy weekending!

Cheers,

D

 

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