do you have roosts and or nest boxes in the back of the covered side? Are they build out of PVC? How many birds to each tractor? Do you move them at night? How do you handle egg collection? At about what age do you move the from the brooders
Nope, no roosts or egg boxes in the tractors. The pens are all one person wants to move anyways and the egg boxes are too much added weight. My layers go in a three sided shed-the open side is fenced in with Premiers portable fencing. When its necessary, I move the fence to put them on fresh ground-galvanized nest boxes inside the shed. My tractors are made out of ripped 1x's. Ive seen some PVC cages, not real sure on their durability though.
When I move them from the brooders to the tractors varies. i.e how well they are feathered out, projected weather, etc. I want to give them some time to acclimate after being taken out of a nice warm brooder. Between 4-6 weeks is the norm.
If you stay on top of things and are really aggressive on keeping your pens moved, 35-40 fryer sized roos can be housed together in one pen. Otherwise, the area gets really nasty really fast, and bored birds cant help but start picking each other. The consistent moving keeps fresh greens, bugs, soil, etc available before feather picking generally gets too bad.
I move them in the afternoon before I feed. The first few times you pick up the tractor to move it, it is sheer chaos. It helps to have a person walking behind the tractor to make sure you arent dragging a few chicks that didnt move with it. After a few moves, the birds begin to associate the move with new food stuffs and will keep up with the front of the cage.