Choosing a cackellac to fit your farm and goals can be a bit overwhelming! Here is a guide to help you decide which portable shelter to get.
Which Cackellac should I buy?
Answering the question, “which cackellac should I buy?” takes some thought.
What are your goals for your chickens? Someone looking to raise a couple of hundred broilers will need a very different Cackellac compared to someone wanting to get started with a few hens.
How much land do you have access to? Space dictates shelter size.
How many eggs or broilers do you need? Does your family LOVE eggs and go through a dozen or two a day? Or do you eat chicken on a frequent basis?
What are your time constraints? 6 hens are a lot quicker to take care of vs 100 birds.
Do you want your kids involved? Kids can be involved with chickens from an early age. If your children want to be moving the chickens, take into consideration their size and what they could handle.
Multi-purpose? Yes! Put more than just chickens in cackellacs!
These are a few things to consider when choosing your shelter. Now we’ll go into how each cackellac provides different answers to each question.
The baby shelter – 322 Cackellac
The 322 Cackellac is the baby of the family! Coming in at 42″ wide, 60″ long, and 27″ high, this cackellac is our go-to for chicks and broody hens.
- New to chickens? Check. It’s easy to move and holds up to 6 hens.
- Looking for a portable brooder? Check. Works great for brooding young chicks outdoors and for broody hens with chicks.
- Breeding pen? Check. Pop your rooster and a couple of hens in.
- Have a child is interested in trying out chickens? Check. It’s easy to move and isn’t overwhelming for a younger child.
- Multi-purpose? You bet! Pop any kind of fowl in here, or use it as an outdoor space for rabbits (just remember they dig 😉 ). Use it as a cover for crops in the spring as well.
This portable shelter is one that fits pretty much anywhere. Only have a small yard or space to move your birds around? The footprint of this portable shelter is only 17.5′ square feet. (3.5′ by 5′). It would take a 322 – wait for it! – 1,244 days – getting moved twice a day – to cover 1 acre.
The 322 fits up to 6 layers. 5 if they are large heritage breed hens or 7-8 if they are banties. It fits the same number of meat birds depending on what weight they’re processed at. We have brooded 60 chicks in one 322; letting them out on warm days, especially as they neared the two-week mark. At two weeks they graduate to a larger cackellac.
Caring for such few adult birds – or tiny chicks – does not take a lot of time. Moving, feeding, and watering layers in a 322 takes less than 10 minutes. It’s perfect for anyone with a tight schedule! We recommend moving twice a day.
This baby shelter offers many ways for kids to be involved! It’s super light and even very young children can help move it. It’s easy to see the birds and offers easy access to feed & water dishes.
Most Popular Shelter – 812 Cackellac
Oh, the 812 Cackellac. A highly popular model because of its versatility! 8′ wide, 10′ long, and 4′ high, it only weighs 150lbs – 8yr old kids can move this.
- Getting serious about having your own eggs? Check. The 812 holds up to 40 layers at a time.
- Have large breeding flocks? Check. Great for keeping your breeders on fresh grass while safely collecting the eggs.
- Have an acre or two? Works great on that!
- Want to follow a herbivore with chickens? Nothing beats a chicken behind cows for bug control.
- Multi-purpose? Use this shelter for any kind of fowl. Plus, it works great for weaning a few lambs or goat kids. It fits 6-10 at a time, depending on their size.
Housing up to 40 layers or meat birds at a time, which is why the 812 is perfect for homesteaders. It’s our go-to for layers and it stays closer to the house for easy access.
With a footprint of 80sq feet, the 812 will cover an acre of land – getting moved twice a day – in 272 days. And Canada does not have 9 months of frost-free days 🙂 . You don’t need a lot of land in order to raise plenty of eggs or meat with this cackellac!
For example – this is being conservative because cackellacs can be outside with poultry in them until the snow flies.
In an area with 120 frost-free days, you can raise 2, 40 bird batches of meat chickens. If their average processed weight is 6.5lbs, you’ve just raised at least 520lbs of protein, in 120 days, on less than 1 acre of land!
Being a larger shelter, 812’s tend to end up farther away from houses. (though we kept it on our lawn! Greens that up nicely 😀 ). Actually moving this lightweight shelter only takes a few minutes. Everything’s hanging inside, you only need to pull the wind anchors and lift the wheels in order to move it. The long part is carrying feed & water to it! In general, though, it doesn’t take more than 10-15 minutes to move an 812 with 40 birds. Plus – you didn’t break your back 🙂
8yr old kids can move this shelter, it’s that easy and light. It’s a great shelter to start teaching kids about pastured poultry! Nothing beats moving animals to fresh grass and seeing how happy they are 🙂
Again – it’s muli-purpose! Weaning lambs or goat kids? Pop them in here! They can’t open the door – plus it’s spring-loaded to shut quickly.
Pastured Poultry Production – 1312 Cackellac
Now we’re getting into the big boys! The second-largest is the 1312 cackellac. And it’s second to none for pastured poultry production. A Cadillac among shelters. Measuring 13′ wide, 16′ ft long, and 6 1/2′ high at the center, this poultry shelter holds up to 100 birds at a time.
If your goal is to grow all your own broilers while maximizing land, time, and growing season – this is the cackellac for you! Raising pastured poultry to sell? The 1312 is a time-efficient shelter while still providing fresh pasture each day.
Some quick math…
The 1312 has a footprint of 208sq feet and will cover 1 acre of land – moved twice a day – in 104 days.
We’ve successfully raised 300 broilers to an average weight of 8lbs in 1 season with one 1312 on 1 acre of land. That can either be done in 3 batches or, in batches of 150 birds at a time while providing access outside of the cackellac in an electrified poultry netting. A 150 bird batch needs to be let out as they grow. (we did the 150 bird batches)
Shall we do the math on that? It’s 2,400lbs of protein in 104 days on 1 acre of land! No wonder chickens are touted as one of the best ways to raise protein for your family.
While filling the 1312 with 100 layers generally means you’re selling eggs, we have used it for 60-70 layers quite nicely.
Again, everything is hanging in the 1312 and the only requirements are to pull wind anchors and lift wheels. Moving a 1312 should take no more than 10 minutes. It’s the walking to and from with feed & water that will add to the time.
Weighing in at 500lbs, the 1312 can be moved by 13-14yr olds. On a good pasture, one person can move the shelter. If the pasture is rough or hilly, two people are best.
This is by far our favourite cackellac for sheep or goats! (yes, we’ve used it for taming those wildlings who want to escape everything else…) In addition, any kind of poultry works great in the 1312, especially turkeys.
Meet the 1822 Cackellac
The 1822 is the pasture schooner! This beast measures 28′ long, 18′ 2″ wide, and 8′ 6″ high at the center. With a footprint of 504sq ft, it holds up to 250 birds at a time.
Efficiency and maximizing time & energy is what the 1822 is all about! Quickly and easily move 250 chickens – or 100-120 turkeys – at a time with only two people. Everything is hanging in the cackellac – no need to carry feeders or waterers from place to place.
Tired of coyotes getting your lambs or goat kids? With so much square footage, the 1822 works beautifully for pasturing lambs or goats while keeping them safe. Grazing young pigs? Use your 1822 to keep them on fresh grass and out of the sun.
With a footprint of 504sq ft, the 1822 will cover 1 acre of land – moved twice a day – in 43 days.
Weighing in at 900lbs, kiddos need to be a bit older to move this shelter. But they can always help collect eggs and carry buckets. It should take less than 20 minutes to move a 1822.
Multi-purpose is the name of the game! Part of the front removes to create a 8ft door. Use it to park tools or implements in when it’s not housing animals. Need a shelter for your cows? Remove that section and you have a sun & rain shelter for young calves or calm, mature cows. (just beware of animals rubbing on it, crazy wild animals and horns 🙂 )
This cackellac can take a snow load, though it is recommended to keep it clear of snow.
Quick Recap – Which cackellac should I buy?
To recap on a few comparable stats:
- All cackellacs moved twice a day will cover:
- 322: 17.5sq ft print, will cover 1 acre in 1,244 days
- 812: 80sq ft print, will cover 1 acre in 272 days
- 1312: 208sq ft print, will cover 1 acre in 104 days
- 1822: 504sq ft print, will cover 1 acre in 43 days
- Number of mature chickens each cackellac will hold:
- 322: 6
- 812: 40
- 1312: 100
- 1822: 250
- Each cackellac has the potential to pay for itself in on year.*
- *weather, bird viability, market, market price, number of batches, etc must be taken into consideration
- **no guarantees are made in regards to cackellac production
- 322: 6 meat birds x processed weight of 6lbs each = 36lbs. 36lbs x 3 batches = 108lbs. 108lbs x $4.50/lb = $486.00
- 812: 40 meat birds x processed weight of 6lbs each = 240lbs. 240lbs x 3 batches = 720lbs. 720lbs x $4.50/lb = $3,240.00
- 1312: 100 meat birds x processed weight of 6lbs each = 600lbs. 600lbs x 3 batches = 1,800lbs. 1,800lbs x $4.50/lbs = $8,100.00
- 1822: 250 meat birds x processed weight of 6lbs each = 1,500lbs. 1,500lbs x 3 batches = 4,500lbs. 4,500lbs x $4.50/lb = $20, 250.00
- Cackellacs can be used for:
- meat birds
- breeding flocks
- mommas w/ chicks
- guinea fowl
- small pigs
- lambs / sheep
- and more!
Get in Touch
Have questions or would like to learn more about ordering? Send us an email here to give us a call at 519-794-0142.
Have a great day!
2 thoughts on “Which Cackellac should I buy?”
Hello, I am debating on whether I should get two of your 50 bird tractors or one of your 100 bird tractors. I am interested in getting them shipped to either Sundre Alberta or Calgary Alberta. Thank you
Which one to choose will depend greatly on the lay of your land (space for a large shelter or need easier to maneuver ones) and personal mobility (which size would be easier for you to move) and whether you are doing meat birds or layers. If doing smaller 2 batches of meat birds, the 812 is nice. A large group of layers – and the 1312 works great.
For shipping quotes, please send me an email via the contact page with your town/province/postal code.
Looking forward to hearing from you,