Our Chicken Tractor
On the farm we have a Chicken Tractor. It holds about 4 chickens happily, and works best in the warmer months. Now being the middle of winter it a bit too cold for them so we only have 2 chickens in the tractor.
They are chooks that are not laying eggs any more so we are still keeping them busy. Roosters also work well for this and are often given away for free.
After they have had enough time to turn the ground and leave their poop to enrich the soil, we then plant our next crop. So they have effectively turned the soil and fertilized at the same time saving us time and energy.
The term chicken tractor comes from the chickens doing the same functions normally performed by a modern farm tractor; digging and turning the soil in preparation for planting trees, vegetables and crops, and also fertilizing and weeding as they go.
Chicken tractors allow chickens to be free ranging along with giving then shelter from the weather and predators, as well as some where to nest and roost at night. The chickens get lots of fresh air, sunshine, fresh food such as grass, weeds and bugs which improves their diet and keep them happy, as well as lowering our feed costs.
A chicken tractor is basically a bottomless cage or pen of some kind that gets moved around where needed. Chicken tractors are perfect for small areas so even small gardens in the city could have a Chicken. Unlike the normal fixed chicken coups, chicken tractors do not have floors so there is no need to clean them out and are best made of light materials so they are easily moved. If you don't want to move your chicken tractor, just let the manure pile up, it's a good idea to throw fresh straw or wood shavings on top of the poop to absorb any standing water and smell. When the manure has accumulated, just move the tractor, rake it up and compost it or even better put it on the garden for Super-mulch.
This is the first time I have used a chicken tractor and I am absolutely satisfied with this system and can see the proof that they really do work to improve the soil and make our gardening easier. I would strongly recommend anyone thinking about getting chickens to give this a go – or even keep one as well as a main coup so your chooks can have a holiday.
It makes keeping chickens so easy, fun and cheap. Cheap cheap haha!!