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10 Best Chicken Tractor Complete Buyers Guide

Chicken tractors are portable chicken coops that allow you to move your birds from one part of the garden to the next. It might not seem important to novice chicken keepers, but in reality, chickens love variety. On our allotment there are a few chicken coops shared between the tenants. 

Some are static, and the chickens are allowed to run around for a few hours every day, and the others (the badly behaved chickens), are in portable chicken tractors that means they get to experience different parts of the plot, and move around in the sun, so they never burn in the heat, and don’t get drenched by rain.

In this article, we’ll talk a bit about the general benefits of chicken tractors for chickens, but focus on the best chicken tractors to buy right now, because it’s a confusing marketplace, and it can be really hard to find out what is right for your birds.

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Best Chicken Tractor Complete Buyers Guide

Best Chicken Coops and Tractors for 2022

Chicken Tractors Buyers' Guide

What are Chicken Tractors?

Chicken Tractors Buyers' Guide

Chicken tractors are chicken coops on wheels. Originally they were designed for commercial chicken farmers, where they struggled with predators but wanted to keep chickens as free-ranging as possible, because simply put, free-range eggs are better eggs, and free-range chickens are happier birds.

Today, chicken tractors come in all sizes, for commercial markets and domestic keepers thanks to the rise in rescue chickens from battery farms being rehomed to gardeners who want to give them a better life (plus the added benefit of free eggs).

Because they are on wheels they don’t bury into the ground like hardwearing predator-proof chicken coops, so are slightly more susceptible to predation from foxes and opossums, but especially snakes.

If you’re in a suburban space though, they provide a great way to give your chicken variety, while keeping them safe from the most common predators such as cats that are much less likely to tunnel.

Why You Need a Chicken Tractor

Chicken tractors are chicken coops on wheels

In recent years, the rise in vegetarianism and veganism has shot up, and there are often whines from meat-eaters around the world blaming organizations like PETA for a rise in woke-ism.

But the reality is, that vegetarians, meat eaters and vegans have all cared about animal cruelty for a long, long, time.

That means that chickens are rescued from battery farms far more regularly, and caring gardeners (probably including you if you’re reading this), are always looking for safe and humane ways to keep rescue chickens at home.

By investing in a chicken tractor you don’t need to dedicate your whole garden to your newly acquired chickens, but can move their coop around easily when the season changes, or just from day-to-day so your chickens get a change of scenery.

What to Look For When Buying a Chicken Tractor

How Much Space Do Chickens Need?

You should always try to have at least 6ft squared per chicken so they can jump, flap their wings, and avoid getting on the nerves of any cohabiting birds.

Chickens living in tight spaces tend to fight, so while their medical requirement is 3ft squared per chicken, it's best to give them as much space as possible. 

Should a Chicken Coop be Portable?

Portable chicken coops are called chicken tractors. It’s in no way essential to have movable chicken coops, but it does improve the quality of life of your chickens to move them around from time to time so they have a change of scenery.

Moving their cages encourages them to explore, peck at the soil, gravel and weeds, and increase brain activity. By varying their lifestyles with a chicken tractor, you can greatly improve the health of your chickens. 

So no, it’s not essential, but I would 100% advise a portable chicken tractor, especially if you’re planning to take on new rescue chickens.

What is the Best Material for a Chicken Coop?

Chicken coops should always be caged in galvanized, rust-proof or stainless steel wire, and never, ever, have glass roofs (glass roofs will quickly dehydrate chickens in the summer months).

Ensure chicken coops are stronger enough to discourage predators, but not so strong that they’re too heavy to move.

Good Materials for Chicken Coops

Galvanized, rust-proof metals or stainless steel are ideal for external caging, but for the main hutch or coop, tanalised or treated timber is best as it doesn’t get as warm as metal coops in summer, and is easy to clean.

Whatever materials you choose make sure they’re able to withstand the weather, and provide an effective barrier from predators.

Bad Materials for Chicken Coops

Chicken coops and chicken tractors are often sold with fabric or plastic netting or chicken wire. Chicken wire is very effective at keeping chickens in, but almost all rodents are able to chew through chicken wire with surprising ease, so it won’t hold up against predators. 

Sadly, chicken coops are often sold with netting in place of caging, which keeps costs down, and makes them easier to move around, but netting won’t keep determined predators out, and small birds can get caught in the nets and die if they are attracted to the chickens’ grain.

Safety Guidance for Chicken Tractors

Best Chicken Tractors Reviews

The biggest safety concern with chicken tractors is the health of your chickens. Chicken tractors are great to improve the overall wellbeing of chickens compared to static chicken coops.

However, be careful to avoid the glittery attractions of a portable chicken coop, and pay attention to maintenance, and ease of access for yourself, so you can resolve issues as quickly as possible.

Cleaning Chicken Coops

Chicken tractor safety is as much about the health and hygiene of your chickens as it is about your personal safety as a chicken keeper. 

When selecting a new chicken tractor or coop it’s incredibly important to consider how easy it is to clean. Some coops come with slide out trays beneath the nest box, while others require you to remove the entire front of the nest boxes in order to do daily cleans.

The risk of infection for chickens in captivity is huge, as they will always find a reason to fight, and if they have any minor open wounds that come into contact with dirty parts of the cage they can quickly get infected.

Best Chicken Tractors Reviews

Rugged Ranch Spring Fling Chicken Tractor

Chickens can’t fly, that’s a well-known fact, but they can jump, and encouraging them to stretch their wings is actually really good for them.


This portable chicken tractor from Rugged Ranch has made me question some of our allotment chicken coops because it’s pretty much the perfect chicken tractor.


The caging is sturdy and truly predator proof, it’s lightweight and easy to move, it’s great for chicken health, and easy to attach sheathing to if you want to give them more shade, and has more than enough space for nine happy chickens.

Rugged Ranch Spring Fling Chicken Tractor is sturdy and truly predator proof

Pros

  • Predator proof

  • Great value

  • Generous coop

  • Easy to clean

  • Generous run

  • Well-constructed

  • Fully portable

  • Lightweight


Cons

  • None

ChickenCoopOutlet Wooden Chicken Tractor

As far as basic chicken runs go, this is a great piece of kit to get your started with one or two chickens. You could probably fit three chickens in here comfortably and the nest box has space for four chickens, but they would need to be attached to a slightly bigger run for wellbeing.


While it’s a basic wire mesh, it’s pretty well made so for a suburban chicken keeper this would easily provide enough security against most predators too.

ChickenCoopOutlet Wooden Chicken Tractor is a great piece of kit to get your started with one or two chickens

Pros

  • Good sized chicken coop

  • Reasonable value

  • Easy to clean

  • Decent wire mesh

  • Weather-proof

  • Sturdy roof


Cons

  • Not fully predator proof

  • Budget castors might not last well on uneven ground


Producer's Pride Defender Chicken Coop

If you’re considering a small-holding and keeping chickens for regular eggs, more chickens make more eggs. It’s simple math.


This gigantic coop from Producer’s Pride is the most expensive we’ve got on review here, but it’s well worth the extra cash if you’re serious about your animal’s welfare, and it comes with an attachable timber coop and nest box that means their run isn’t affected at all.


It’s not supplied with wheels but that does mean the chicken run is extra safe from predators, and it’s easy enough to attach castors to the nest box to move them around the garden for different seasons, or so they can have fresh grass to peck at.

Producer's Pride Defender Chicken Coop comes with an attachable timber coop and nest box that means their run isn’t affected at all

Pros

  • Super sturdy mesh

  • Predator proof

  • Big open space for your hens

  • Weather proof materials

  • Well-constructed


Cons

  • Not portable

  • Most expensive on review


Best Choice Products Mobile Chicken Tractor Hen House

I wanted to start by reviewing this as an example of what not to buy. It’s well built, it’s made from good materials, and it’s sturdy enough to hold up to the elements, so on the face of it, this might seem like a great chicken tractor… but…


Its PVC roof will create excess heat in summer unless you move it into shade, the sap from the Fir wood can stick to the chicken’s feathers causing discomfort, and while it claims to be big enough for 3-5 chickens it’s only really big enough to happily house 2 chickens.


Because it’s well made, it would be a good option for a portable chicken nest box, if attached to a larger coop, so as always, just make sure you’re really considering the welfare of your animals.

Best Choice Products Mobile Chicken Tractor Hen House would be a good option for a portable chicken nest box

Pros

  • Strong wire-mesh

  • Well-constructed

  • Easy access for cleaning

  • Portable


Cons

  • Too small (3ft2)

  • Fir wood can leech sap

  • PVC roof can lead to overheating

  • Not fully predator proof


U-Max Wood Chicken Tractor with Wheels and Nesting Box

This is more like it. For 3 chickens, this would be enough room for a happy new life away from a battery farm, or even for chicken reared from eggs, this would make an ideal little home in the garden.


The treated timber is weather resistant, and it has a good quality mesh which will keep out most suburban predators.


The mesh won’t be particularly effective against foxes as it’s only tacked in place, but it is an easy to move coop, and easy to clean.

U-Max Wood Chicken Tractor with Wheels and Nesting Box is weather resistant, and it has a good quality mesh which will keep out most suburban predators

Pros

  • Strong wire mesh

  • Well-constructed

  • Open aerated top

  • Easy to clean

  • Treated timber


Cons

  • Cheaper comparable models

  • Not fully predator proof


Producer's Pride Extra Large Sentinel Chicken Coop

I know this isn’t specifically a chicken tractor, but it’s a really generously sized chicken coop, made from really strong light-weight materials that mean you can move it if you need to.


Because of its materials it’s a perfect coop to protect against the most common predators, and is pretty much fox proof too.


The only thing letting it down is the fact it doesn't have wheels, but you would have some truly happy hens with this coop.

Producer's Pride Extra Large Sentinel Chicken Coop is made from really strong light-weight materials that mean you can move it if you need to

Pros

  • Super sturdy mesh

  • Good value

  • Predator proof

  • Big open space for your hens

  • Weather proof materials


Cons

  • Not portable

  • Fiddly to clean properly


Aivituvin Portable Chicken Coop with Wheels

The portable coop from Aivituvin is a great choice for beginners, with an adaptable design that’s easy to move, simple to put together, and easy to clean. 


There are quite a lot of compartments, but each one is fully accessible for cleaning. However, that does mean you’ll spend a few extra hours per month on hygiene.


It’s simple, but effective, and sometimes that’s all you need to feel confident in your coop.

Aivituvin Portable Chicken Coop with Wheels is a great choice for beginners, with an adaptable design that’s easy to move, simple to put together, and easy to clean

Pros

  • Easy for basic cleaning

  • Great value

  • Good size for 2-3 chickens

  • Easy to attach to larger coop

  • Sturdy materials


Cons

  • Not fully predator proof

  • Quite a lot of maintenance


AthLike Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop

This is a really beautiful hen house, and even compared to some truly portable chicken tractors it’s slightly in the lead because it’s got a little bit more space.


I’d personally prefer a touch more space in the outdoor compartments, and for wheels, but when it comes down to it, it’s really simple to attach castors to these wooden nesting boxes to make your own portable nest boxes.

AthLike Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop is a really beautiful hen house

Pros

  • Well-constructed

  • Generous nesting boxes

  • Easy to access for cleaning


Cons

  • Not portable

  • Not fully predator proof

  • Large coop for 4 chickens, but the run is only really enough for 2-3

  • Expensive compared to similar sized runs.


PawHut Portable Chicken Coop with Wheels

PawHut are well known for good budget options, and while you can pick up a similar chicken coop for less money, it’s unlikely you’ll get one quite as long lasting.


Not only is the timber treated, it’s painted in durable weatherproof paint, and has a well-constructed overlapped timber roof which will last much longer than the budget felt one most other chicken coops in this price range.

PawHut Portable Chicken Coop with Wheels 2

Pros

  • Good sized chicken coop

  • Easy to clean

  • Decent wire mesh

  • Weather-proof


Cons

  • Not fully predator proof

  • Budget castors might not last well on uneven ground

  • More expensive than comparable models


Kinsuite Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop

A score of three out of five might not seem great but honestly, I do think this is a pretty good chicken coop. The only thing letting it down is the roof materials of the nest-box, just because I know from long-term experience that a roof felt like this on any sort of outdoor pet house will suffer over time.


The edging strips always suffer from rot, and then water gets in.

But if you’re willing to do a little bit of maintenance this is a brilliant budget choice to save you money while you get started with your new chickens.

Kinsuite Outdoor Wooden Chicken Coop is a pretty good chicken coop

Pros

  • Good sized chicken coop

  • Good value

  • Easy to clean

  • Decent wire mesh

  • Weather-proof


Cons

  • Not fully predator proof

  • Budget castors might not last well on uneven ground


Sumo Gardener 2022 Top Picks

Top Rated Chicken Tractor 

Top Rated Best Chicken Tractor
Rugged Ranch Spring Fling Chicken Tractor

Rugged Ranch Spring Fling Chicken Tractor is 100% my top pick of chicken coops. It’s a portable chicken tractor (tick), it’s almost fully predator proof (tick), it’s got loads of space (tick) and it’s amazing value (tick).

I love this chicken tractor from Rugged Ranch, not because it looks great, but because I know my chickens would love it.

Chicken coops should never be chosen on how they look, but how the chickens would enjoy them, and this is perfect for a really good amount of chickens to live happily together for years to come (and happy chickens lay more eggs).

Best Value Chicken Tractor 

Best Value Chicken Tractor
ChickenCoopOutlet Wooden Chicken Tractor

For anyone just getting started with chicken keeping, this budget option is a good choice. ChickenCoopOutlet Wooden Chicken Tractor is easy to clean, and is enough space for a happy pair of hens while you get used to the time commitment of feeding, cleaning and just generally keeping them company.

The one thing you’ll learn over the next few months is just how unique every chicken can be. They all have completely independent personalities and it won’t take long for you to upgrade to a larger coop just so you’ve got an excuse to sit in with them.

Premium Choice Chicken Tractor 

Premium Choice Chicken Tractor
Producer's Pride Defender Chicken Coop

If you’re looking to give your chickens the life of luxury and you’re not bothered about moving them around then Producer's Pride Defender Chicken Coop is probably the only choice for you.

You’ll need to add a few castors to the nest box itself to make it more manageable, but for the price of a few screws and some wheels you’ll have the best chicken coop in the county (and probably the happiest chickens).

Chicken Tractor FAQs

What is needed in a chicken coop?

Chicken are great animals to keep, either as pets, or for eggs, but they need a few basic things from their housing: four safe walls, a predator proof roof, shade, ventilation, nest boxes, and somewhere to hide. You should always try to provide at least 6ft2 per chicken.

How does a chicken coop cost?

Chicken coops usually cost between $300 and $1000 to buy new, but high end chicken coops and portable chicken tractors can cost over $3000, especially for commercial free-range farms where more space is needed.

What is the best bedding for chickens?

Straw, pine needles and wood shavings make great bedding for chickens, either as material to peck at, or just to soften hard floors, but it is much better for chickens to have access to areas of lawn and soil to dig for insects.

How many chickens should I start with?

Chickens are naturally flock animals so you should try to start with at least three chickens. While they are predisposed to living in small communities, but they don’t like being overcrowded and can pack aggressively if there are too many birds in a small space.

Wrapping Up Our Chicken Tractor Buying Guide

I am 100% guilty of personifying animals. I regularly have conversations with the squirrels in our garden, and can spend hours making up stories about the birds on the allotment, but chickens don’t need me to give them personalities.

Chickens are truly some of the funniest, friendliest creatures on this planet, and they make exceptional pets, with the healthy bonus of daily eggs.

Finding the best chicken tractors is as much about your animals as it is about you as a keeper, so make sure you’re making the right choice for your hens, as well as for your garden.

About the Author Pat Moreno

Pat is our gardening tool expert here at Sumo Gardener. Working for many years as a private and commercial landscaper, Pat has used almost every type of gardening tool there is. Along with a vast knowledge for types of plants and putting together an amazing looking and maintainable garden, Pat developed a passion for gardening tools as he found that using the right tools vastly improved the ease and outcome of any landscaping job he undertook. When spending hours, days or years using a particular tool, you want to make sure you’ve got the best one for the job, and Pat is the right guy to guide us to the best gardening tools.

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