What types of poultry housing provide protection from predators and are also compatible with a permaculture system?
Answer: The term chicken tractor is mostly used for housing meat birds; for layers, coop or egg mobile is more commonly used. Egg mobiles are different from chicken tractors in that they are designed to allow the hens to venture beyond their house, to the fence limits.Different designs and factors to consider when choosing will be:? Your terrain topography? Weather (muddy conditions)? PredatorsYou can adapt different designs (e.g., add hardware cloth floor) to what works better for you and your farm. When using hardware cloth as floor for the coop, half-inch hardware cloth works well when the chickens are little but can get harder to clean with bigger droppings from older chickens. If your predator problem is weasels, they shouldn’t be able to fit through a half-inch hardware cloth.Here are some resources on building an egg mobile:PolyFace Egg Layershttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pvj6i4QPXZM&list=PLz7m6Pw0K6N83I8XQFNxprnTzf-gki7YQ&index=150Permaculture Research Institute: How to Make an Egg Mobilehttp://permaculturenews.org/2010/09/03/how-to-make-an-egg-mobile/Abundant Permaculture: Chicken Housing That Workshttp://abundantpermaculture.com/chicken-housing-that-works-5-brilliant-ways/Designing a Mobile Chicken Coophttps://www.wpi.edu/Pubs/E-project/Available/E-project-030614-095822/unrestricted/Chicken_Tractor_IQP.pdfAlso, check out ATTRA’s Range Poultry Housing, which discusses housing designs for outdoor production, including daily-move pens, machine-portable housing, fixed housing, and feed shelters. Numerous examples of different types of poultry housing are pictured and described in this publication.