A Security Upgrade for the 'Egg Cart’n' Chicken Tractor

| 9/29/2016 9:46:00 AM

Tags: chicken tractor, chickens, predator control, do it yourself projects, poultry, raising livestoc, Eric Reuter, Missouri,

A good chicken tractor should be portable, simple, and secure. Through many years of experimenting with various homemade chicken designs, we never settled on a setup that fulfilled these needs to our satisfaction. Eventually, we chose to purchase a manufactured “Egg Cart’n” unit, after researching various options, and we have been very pleased with it overall.

Our “classic” unit is easier to move and maintain than anything we’d built, and we felt it was more secure. However, this spring a predator (likely a young fox) exploited a weakness in the design and slaughtered the coop’s residents.

After realizing what had happened, we found a simple way to close the loophole and help restore our trust in this otherwise excellent and convenient product. Here’s the problem and our solution.

Egg Cart’n Classic, showing ramp assembly

Security Flaw with the Egg Cart'n Chicken Tractor

The Egg Cart’n Classic has aluminum framing and mesh, so the unit is light enough to be moved by one person but still impenetrable to predators from the sides. The bottom is open so that birds have access to fresh ground. However, the sides can be tunneled under by a digging predator such as a fox or mink. The design attempts to solve this problem by housing the birds at night in an upper level, closed off by lifting a ramp. This ramp is the weak point — there are several minor flaws in the design which create opportunities for predator access.

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