Sunday, May 24, 2015

Chicken Tractor:Why It Fits Well with Our Plans

The chicken tractor, ie, "Meals on Wheels", is a mobile chicken coop. Its at least twice the floor space of the permament coop, but even more important, we can use this to accomplish several things at once.
1.  Free range the hens so they get a wholesome, natural diet of insects, weeds, and grit.
2. Protect them from predators, and from their own silliness ( like hanging out in the road, or across the street.)
3. Help prepare a new plot of garden.  Chickens do a marvelous job of tilling, weeding, bug control, and fertilizing.  And they work really cheap. 😊
4. Protect the rest of the planted areas from all of the above activities. 

We have 3 or 4 areas to rotate this coop, so once the girls have eaten an area down, we just move them and the electric fence (which is all one piece and very easy to set up and  take down.)
Our homestead doesnt lend itself to a permanent coop if we want to rotate the pastures where the chickens will graze. so moving the coop around is perfect for us.  Until deep winter, this will be home.

The chicken tractor has been moved to its first location.

The solar fence energizer, and Steve's finger.

Part of the new pasture that will be garden space next year.

The tarp provides rain protection, and the overhang helps a little too. I plan to add some clear plastic onnthe back, but we dont need it for the next few days.

Another view.  

The girls are all in the enclosure now.  They quickly went to work digging and finding bugs.

Some are inside.  Roosts come off for moving, and nest boxes  are just simple milk crates on the ground.  This is like camping, only for chickens.

Busy eating weeds and  bugs. We have not electrified the fence yet.  We will turn it on tonight when we put them to bed.

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