The dogs finally have new dog houses....greenspun.com : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread
We spent the past three days building two new dog houses. Each dog house is 4 x 4 ft. Each house should hold 2 dogs each. I have 4 German Shepherds. Hubby built the dog houses and I painted them, even my 5 year old got to help with the painting. It was a nice project to do as a family and the dogs have new houses. Their other 2 wooden houses are falling to pieces (they are about 7 years old) and for some reason the dogs don't seem to like the plastic doggie igloo's we have.
Our next project is to build an additional section to the chicken tractor to hold the nest boxes for the laying chickens.
-- Anita in NC (email@example.com), December 26, 2001
Sounds great! The four legged kids got two great Christmas presents too! I am interested in your chicken tractor. Do you like it? Are there any downsides to it? We have been letting our hens free range..but that does not always work out..like last week when the neighbor dog came to visit! I would really like your views on the pros and cons. Thanks!
-- Sher in se Iowa (firstname.lastname@example.org), December 27, 2001.
I really love my chicken tractors. I have 2. The first one has two 4 x 4 ft sections that get tied together. Having 2 sections versus just one big section makes them easy to move and even I can manage this myself. One section is completely enclosed in plastic except for a small opening for the chickens to go in and out and it also has a couple of roosting bars for them to sleep on at night. The other section is open with plastic only on the roof to keep the rain off, this is where they have their food and water. The design is 4 x 4 square that is 3 foot high and then has a A-frame type roof. The whole thing is covered in chicken wire and then some sections have plastic. The handy thing about having it in sections is that you can add additional sections, which is what my hubby is doing right now. He is building a middle section, another 4 x 4 to hold the nest boxes. The only down side to this design in the door is at the end with the food and water and because it is only 3 foot high it is hard to bend down to reach in.
Pen #2 was designed slightly different, this one is again 4 x 4 squares, two of them tied together. However, this one does not have the A-frame type roof instead it is 3 ft in front with the roof going up to 4 ft in the back, a sloped roof. The door for this pen is in the roof and makes it a lot more handy to feed and water the chickens. This one holds my cornish rocks and so they can't fly out when the roof is opened up as they are to heavy but then again these birds don't really need to come out, I have let them out before and all they do is sit around.
Personally I like the design of pen #2 better. I don't have a lot of flat even land in my yard so I only move the pens once per week but this works well for us. I can see that a permanent chicken house would get smelly after a while, with the chicken tractor it can get moved daily or weekly to a new spot and so far I haven't really noticed a smell doing it this way. We add straw to the pen and this helps add some good stuff back to the yard. Also, the laying chickens come out their pen in the afternoon for about 4 hours and scratch around the yard and then automatically go back to roost in their pen. When the chickens are out though don't move their pen more then the next new space over otherwise they can't figure out where their house went. We did this once moved it about 3 spaces over because the tire swing would have been in the way and the chickens could not find their house, we had to catch them all and put them in, the next day they were okay though finding their way back after being let out.
-- Anita in NC (email@example.com), December 27, 2001.