Tuesday, March 11, 2014

More on the Chicken Tractor

It is complete (sorta). The chicken tractor is out in the yard and the birds are in it...Loving their new space and all the grass that comes with it. We still need to make some tweaks on this...we were able use some of the fencing that we already had, leftover from other projects, and fence the yard area. We need to add some sort of door, to keep them warm in inclement weather (which I hear is coming back tomorrow for a couple of days). The roof is just a tarp, stapled on place all the way down one side and partially down the other - the flap at the bottom, allows us to lift the tarp and put in clean food/water. We've roped the containers from the cross bar, to keep them 1) level and 2) off the ground, so the birds can easily reach, but hopefully lessen the filth that only chickens can make (you chicken people know what I'm talking about here). We will convert the roof to some sort of plywood - with a hinged area and probably be wheeled, to make for easier moving (it took three of us to move it yesterday).
For those of you who don't raise birds, or are thinking about getting birds - the reason for something like this is to combine the free range and caged ideas. Unfortunately, we cannot just let our birds wander...we have a smaller property (they'd always end up at the neighbors), we have hawks and coyotes...it just isn't safe; however, if you leave them in one space (for example, our current coop is a stationary building with a fenced yard) - they tear up the yard so quickly, that they essentially live in a mud/dirt swamp area. This moveable coop - chicken tractor allows you to move them regularly. Once they have been on an area and clipped the grass and (ahem) fertilized the area, you simply move the structure to a new area. If you move it slow enough, the birds will just move with the structure. You can move them onto your garden beds to help weed, or once you've put the garden to bed for the season, you can put the tractor out there and they will eat the leftovers and again, fertilize the beds for next year...and fresh "pasture" means less grain that you need to supplement with. WIN WIN. They seem happy in there - running around, testing their still-growing wings very cute.


  1. Good Job guys. Its looking very neat for something made from scraps. I want bigger pictures showing the whole thing out in the yard. At least you know where your eggs are. My friend Ella was getting no eggs and her hubby just found a big pile behind a piece of tin leaning up against a fence. We water tested them last night to check if they were still OK. Thanks for Post.

  2. I'll get another picture of what it looks like in the yard, but maybe over the weekend. Our cold weather came back for a couple of days and it's just miserable to be outside.
    This tractor is for our meat birds. We have 25 teenagers in there, hopefully they will be ready to process in about another 5-7 weeks. I assume we will do it ourselves...but we'll see, once the time gets closer.
    Our layers though, they are goofballs, we have a loft area in the top of their coop/barn and they lay up there. Grr. Not all of them - just a couple sassy ones that don't want to hop down to the nesting box to lay.