Thinking of setting up a Chicken Tractor in Brisbane

Discussion in 'Breeding, Raising, Feeding and Caring for Animals' started by russell_c_cook, Dec 7, 2014.

  1. russell_c_cook

    russell_c_cook Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Hi everyone,

    When I move to Brisbane next year, I want to try keeping some kind of animal as a source of protein, and having a chicken tractor in the yard seems like a good option.

    Here are a few questions I'd like to discuss:

    1) Is Brisbane City Council tolerant of people keeping chickens?

    2) What would be a minimum number of chickens to keep? (I'd like to start as small as possible)

    3) Can you buy chicken tractor coops, or are they all handmade?

    4) Some chicken tractor coops are rectangular prisms, some are triangular prisms. Is there any functional difference?
    I like the look and size of the one on the wikipedia page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tractor

    5) What can you do to prevent harassment from predators?

    Any help would be great :)
     
  2. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    1) Yes. - http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/laws-permits/laws-permits-residents/animals-pets/chickens-poultry

    2) Depends on size of tractor.

    3) You can buy them. You can make them. Something like this is super fancy and expensive: http://www.royalrooster.com.au/

    4) Easier to make a triangle than 90 degree corners (and strong), uses less material.

    5) Not chicken wire. Heavy duty welded mesh products and welded mesh on the base, big enough to allow chickens to scratch, small enough to stop fox entry. Small mesh on the sides.
     
  3. russell_c_cook

    russell_c_cook Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Cheers S.O.P.

    Those ones at Royal Rooster look quite good - I think I'll be tempted to buy one to get started, then learn to build one later, to give myself a higher chance of success.

    In terms of numbers of chickens, would two hens be happy together, or would 3 or 4 give them the company they need? And would a rooster be a good addition to the community? I've heard that one of a rooster's roles is to be on the look out for predators, but presumably that wouldn't be so important in a secure coop(?).
     
  4. S.O.P

    S.O.P Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    38
    It depends.

    How big is your block? Roosters usually are allowed on acreage.

    As for amount of chickens, size of coop dictates that. But then you can add bantams to the mix, half-size bird nearly equals twice as much?

    That site will recommend ideal space per bird, as will any chicken forum. Consider with our, sometimes, wet seasons that having a second floor can keep chickens a tad drier at night.
     
  5. russell_c_cook

    russell_c_cook Junior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    I'm probably just gonna have a small yard, so I think a small coop and 2 hens would be a good start.

    Thanks for the tip about the second floor, I want to make sure the chickens are as comfortable as possible so that'll most likely be a good option.
     
  6. Somerzby

    Somerzby New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Occupation:
    Pet Products Supplier
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    Warm and sunny
    Not sure if it's too late for a reply, but the chicken tractors are very good for a small yard, the best way to make sure you keep predators away is by having the screen protection on all walls and even floors. The best coops now come with a fly screen mesh as well to keep out the mozzies and other nasty little insects that may just infect your chooks... This is a good design chicken tractor - Chicken Tractor.
     
  7. Chilliprepper

    Chilliprepper New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2016
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Location:
    Western Australia
    Home Page:
    Climate:
    Mediterranean coastal
    Hope your chicken tractor went well :)

    We used a triangular chicken tractor as a chicken coop on our property. We had 3 chickens using it, but to be honest, they would never have been able to live it in permanently without an open run. I think chicken tractors are quite romantic, the idea that you can protect your girls from dangers and that they will peck quietly away at the grass.

    But in my experience, chickens need room and will let you know if they don't get let out to roam. Every morning our girls would make quite a racket until let out of their chicken tractor coop to roam in the run. I also believe (being permie minded) that the benefits of chickens are lost when they are held in cages, so don't tell the council, but chciekns really need to have deep litter to scratch, dirt to roll in and bugs to peck at. If they can't peck at the apple trees or scratch through the mulch, what's the point? I could buy cage eggs and not have the guilt ;)

    But give the chicken tractor a go anyway, its a good start :)
     
  8. Nicolai Barca

    Nicolai Barca New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2016
    Messages:
    9
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    1
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Feral Pig Control
    Location:
    Kauai
    Climate:
    Hawaii- Tropical Pacific Island
    1) no clue.
    2) depends on what you want. I had three chickens in a 4X8 foot tractor and in the good season, each chicken would give 2 eggs every three days. So three chickens should give you an average of two eggs a day, although some breeds give more/less than others and there's typically a portion of the year when egg production slows. If I did it again, I'd stick with two or three hens for my own use.
    3) you can buy tractors, however, they might not be what you want for your situation. Such as: Wheels do not do well on uneven ground or in heavy ground vegetation. You may want to consider sleds in those cases, rather than wheels. The design may look good but can often be impractical or inconvenient for what you need to do (move it to fresh ground, collect eggs, add bedding to nest boxes, change water, feed) or what the tractor needs to do (keep chickens where you want them and keep predators out). I've made several variations of chicken tractors (around $100 ea.) and am constantly improving the design for the property they are on. Some common problems are A) portions of the tractor hanging up on vegetation or terrain making it difficult to move, B) relatively inconvenient to access into the coup for eggs, service waterer, or for cleaning. Sometimes the commercially made tractors can solve this problem and can be good for entry-level. But it here's nothing like making one custom for your situation once you know what works better.
    4) Yes and no. Doesn't really matter much so long as it's functional.
    5) That would totally depend on what predators you have. Beefier wire can keep out those that would break or chew threw. Sometimes I lay boards around the outside edge if I'm worried about something squeezing in or out. Also, listen. I find my hens make a commotion if something comes around at night. The chick stage is definitely when they are most vulnerable. Cats can even reach in through gaps and tear off limbs!

    Ever consider electric poultry netting?
     

Share This Page