Chicken Tractor- Ultimate Guide To Dynamic Poultry Place 2024

Chicken Tractor

What is a Chicken Tractor?

what is chicken tractor

The chicken tractor is an open-air mobile shelter that’s used to raise poultry in managed pastures. The shelter can be moved daily to allow for the proper management of soil health. This in turn affects every area of the farm.

Food Chain- Chicken For Human:

Food Chain- Chicken For Human

No matter what type of farming you take part in, one fact is universally true, the health and vitality of your farm products and the people who consume them are intrinsically tied to the health and vitality of the soil in which they grow. If you are what you eat, you are what your eat eats. We eat chickens, chickens eat grass, grass eats sunshine and soil. Raising pastured poultry outside in movable shelters is better for the soil, the animals, and the people.

What it Is and the Basics for Building One :

These coops on wheel provide your birds with constant access to food while also fertilizing the soil. They are also effective in controlling pests. You move the chicken tractor around your backyard or pasture every day. The chickens will eat the tender tops of the grass, and the weeds. They also love bugs, snails and slugs.

Chickens Reduce Pest In Yard:

Chickens Reduce Pest In Yard

This helps to reduce the pest population in your yard. The chickens will leave behind their nitrogen and phosphorus rich manure as you move your tractor. The scratching of the chickens quickly loosens and depletes the soil. This is why it’s called “a chicken tractor”. This is a great way to remove a lawn, weeds or other unwanted vegetation in order to prepare for planting a new garden. If you want your birds to fertilize and control pests on your pasture or lawn without turning it to dirt, move the tractor every day so that they don’t get to one spot.

Worth Of Chicken Tractor On Social Media:

There are many chicken tractor plans on the internet, ranging from simple contraptions made of pallets, to modern egg-mobiles that use old cars. Commercial models are more likely to use a mobile house, salvaged school buses, or equipment trailers. Prefab chicken tractors are also available. Smoky Mountain Chicken Tractors, which start at $350 or Williams-Sonoma’s rustic-luxury model, will cost you more than $2,000, are both options.

Basic Components Of All Chicken Tractors Are Same:

Basic Components Of All Chicken Tractors

The basic components of all chicken tractors are the same.They include a nesting area enclosed with wire mesh, a “run” for chickens covered in wire mesh so as to keep predators out, and wheels on a frame that allows you to pull it. You can build one yourself, but how well it turns out will depend on your ability to use the materials that you have (or on your budget). A little creativity is always welcome.

Chicken Tractors – Design Your Own Mobile Coop :

The birds will always return to their same shelter at the end of the day if you rotate your flock using temporary fencing or henhouses. You will still need some kind of mobile shelter if you are going to pasture your birds further afield. This is to allow them to move to fresh ground and shelter them when it rains or at night. I’ve seen hundreds mobile coops and they are all different.

Design Based On Flock’s Size:

Design Based On Flock's Size

You can design your own design based on your flock’s size, your intended use for their services, any leftover materials that are begging to used, your climate, your ground, and even how whimsical you feel.

Pasture Pens & Pasture Shelters:

Pasture Pens & Pasture Shelters

The micro-flock on the lawn or pasture is often restricted to a shelter that’s moved around frequently. You will need to increase the size of the foraging area you provide your birds as the flock grows. As I discussed in the previous section, I use an electric net fence to give my birds a large area outside the shelter.

Electro-net:

Electronet

You can still create a pasture pen without using electro-net. Use a set up of wooden panels and chicken wire that you can easily lock together with bolts and wing nuts. The disassembly is also very easy for transport. The aerial predators in your area will determine whether you need a frame to cover the top of the pens.

Size, weight, and stability are all factors to consider when deciding on a trade-off:

A heavy shelter is much more difficult to move and can be dangerous. The shelters are easy to transport and disassemble. The lighter the shelter, the more likely that it will be thrown into the next county.

Different Shapes Of A Tractor:

different Shape Of A Tractor

The shape of the shelter also affects its stability. I’ve found that boxier-shaped shelters, with a high profile, tend to catch the wind while A-frame or hoop-shaped shelters keep their feet firmly on the ground. The classic Polyface 10 by 12 foot model is rectangular, but only 24 inches tall, and is stable in strong winds. The weight of a shelter is largely determined by the materials used.

Way To Reduce Weight:

As a final option to reduce weight, use as much chicken wire as possible instead of solid materials. This is in line with the need for shelter from the sun, rain and sharp cold winds.

Wheels for chicken Tractors :

Wheels for chicken Tractors

All my large shelters have wheels. I use nuts, flat washers and lock washers to install permanent half-inch bolts at each corner of the shelter instead of axles that span the width. If your ground is level and flat, you might be able use an 8-inch rim. With an 8-inch tire, I found the bottom rail of my shelter would get caught in tussocks. With a 10-inch tire, I can move much more easily on my pasture.

Bicycle Wheels Are Best:

Bicycle Wheels Are Best

When installing wheels permanently, it is best to use bicycle wheels or other large wheels, such as the front wheels of an old tractor, to move over uneven terrain.

Do You Need a Floor for Your Shelter?

It is the whole point of a mobile shelter to allow its occupants to access fresh grass.It is therefore logical that there should be no floor.However, certain management decisions may make it advisable to have a floor. If a floor is installed, for example, young birds can move around more easily and without risking injury from the bottom rail at the rear (see below). If you decide to install a floor inside your shelter, use wire or plastic mesh. Droppings will collect on a solid surface, and require frequent cleaning from the small confines.

What are the benefits of a chicken tractor?

benefits of a chicken tractor

Why would you need a chicken tractor then? A moveable chicken coop has many benefits:

  • The chicken tractor takes up less room than a standard coop .
  • The chickens are healthier and produce better eggs when they have access to fresh bugs and greens.
  • Move the tractor to recover plants. Plants can recover if you move the tractor.
  • You can move chickens around to eat weeds and fertilise soil .
  • By moving the coop, you can protect your birds from parasites such as mites and lice.
  • The coop can be positioned to provide shade during the summer months and avoid muddy areas in the rainy season.
  • The chicken tractor is perfect for renting houses or places where you do not want to build a permanent home.
  • A chicken tractor is a great addition to a standard coop. A chicken tractor can be used to provide a change of scenery for your chickens, clean up the garden, raise chicks or as a hospital.

The Benefits of Raising Chickens on Chicken Tractors :

Raising chickens on a mobile tractor has many benefits for everyone. The end result is healthier and more delicious for the people. Organic or not, a chicken raised on the grass will have a taste that is superior to anything else you can get. Animals raised on a diverse, natural diet will also be healthier. They pass this nutrition on to those who eat them.

It Is Better For Soil:

It Is Better For Soil

Raising chickens on these pastures shelters is better for soils.Manure from chickens contains a lot of nitrogen, which is essential for plants. Nitrogen in the right amounts can encourage growth. The manure from the chickens can be spread evenly and in the right amount, which is then applied to the soil. This is also beneficial to the chickens, as they are able to move away from yesterday’s doo-doo each day. Imagine having to urinate on the same spot for your entire life. Chickens are forced to move around in a barn system, but on pastures they always have new territory.

Benefits Of Pastured Poultry Production:

It is better for farmers to raise chickens on pastures and emulate more natural systems. The benefits of pastured poultry production include fresh air, a lack of manure, tangible benefits from intentional production methods, niche marketing, and a community that is passionate about the success.

How much room does a chicken tractors need?

How much room does a chicken tractors need

Even though chicken tractors are small and are great for backyards with limited space, you will still need more room than you think. It is important to keep moving the chicken tractor around and not to return to the original spot until grass or plants are growing again. Even though the chicken tractor is small, you’ll still need space to park it at the same spot for up to 30 moves. This means you will need a space 10-30 times larger than the tractor’s footprint.

How to raise chickens on pasture :

How to raise chickens on pasture

You can find all kinds of chicken tractors. Your imagination and resources are the only limits. Chickens also need certain basic fundamentals to live and thrive. When you build your first chicken tractor, there are a lot of things to consider.

  • How many chickens would you like to raise per year?
  • How many chickens will fit in each tractor?
  • How many laying hens can fit in a tractor for chickens?
  • How often do the chicken tractors move?
  • What size chicken tractor will you need?

Design Should Be Affordable:

With your chicken tractor, you will achieve a good balance. You need something that is affordable, works well for you and your chickens, as well as being good for the soil. Bad designs can cause people to burn and ruin the farming method. It must be easy and fun. It is not always easy to raise chickens in pasture, but the experience can be rewarding.

Is there anything negative about a chicken tractor?

There are few negatives about a poultry tractor if you select the correct size for your flock and choose a well-made chicken tractor you can move easily.

Size matters :

Size matters

Online, you can find many chicken tractors that are suitable for suburban backyards. These are often very small and only cover 2 square meters. These small chicken tractors can only accommodate 2-3 chickens. They are best suited to small or bantam varieties. You should move them every day, unless you have birds that are free-ranging. There are also large chicken tractors that can be moved around farms. As long as you select a chicken tractor that is suitable for your flock, and the situation in which it will be used, size shouldn’t be an issue.

Consider climate change:

The summer heat is a problem for chickens in most of Australia. In the heat of the summer, it would be cruel to keep them in a chicken tractor without shade. In southern areas, the winter cold can be brutal if a chicken tractor isn’t sheltered or insulated.

They Can Be Hot Or Cold:

Chicken tractors can be more hot or cold than standard chicken coops because they are compact. Because of their small size, your chickens can’t move to a warmer or cooler spot if it is uncomfortable.

Shade During Summer:

Shade During Summer

Make sure you have the space to shade the chicken tractor during the summer or create shade for it.If you live in an area with low temperatures, consider whether your chicken tractor will be warm enough for use during the winter.

Buy quality products :

Make sure the chicken tractor you buy is made well. We’ve heard from dozens of customers who purchased cheap wooden chicken tractors on the internet only to discover that they broke within a few moves.The best chicken tractors will keep predators at bay.

Moving Can Cause Strains:

Moving the chicken tractor also puts strain on the structure. The frame must be solid or else it may break after several moves. The best materials are metal or hardwood. Wheels also make designs last longer, as they take the strain off of moving.

You have to be able move the item:

You have to be able move the item

Many wooden chicken tractors advertised online are “lightweight” or “easy to move by one person”.The structure is fragile, so even though the coop may have wheels, it will still require two people to move. They are heavier, but they are better. Choose a tractor with wheels if you want to be able move it.

How often should a chicken tractor be moved?

The size of the chicken tractor, how many chickens it holds, and where you place it will determine how often you move it. On the lawn or garden. It is important to move the chicken tractor frequently and not return too often to the same place.

You can move your chickens using a chicken tractor:

You can move your chickens using a chicken tractor

It is essential to move your chicken tractors regularly because they are small. A new ground offers a new scenery and provides fresh insects and forage.The ground beneath the chicken tractor will soon turn into dirt if you don’t move it. You will also be less happy with your chooks.

Move Tractor Every 1 to 3 Days:

The chicken tractor is usually moved every 1 to 3 days.Your foraging area and number of chickens will be important factors.It is time to move your chicken tractor if you see dirt in the grass, or manure accumulating.

Moving Helps Plants To Grow Faster:

In most cases, a chicken tractor can only stay at one location for a week. The plants will recover faster and better if you move the chickens after a few days. The recovery time will be much slower if the ground is barren or patchy. Weeds can also become a problem.

Principles of regenerative agriculture:
principles of regenerative agriculture

The chicken tractor uses principles of regenerative agriculture to keep your lawn clean and green. Chickens eat insects and plants, and scratch the soil. They will kill all the plants and leave bare soil if they are left alone. If they are removed, the area where they were will recover. In a few weeks or months, you won’t be able tell where chickens were because the manure will provide fertiliser. Allowing plants to recover from chickens by moving your tractor and giving it plenty of time between each move will help you avoid damaging them.

Time Taken By Plants To Recover:

The length of time it takes for plants to recover is dependent on several factors, including the season (plants are more active in summer), rainfall (plants require water to grow), type of plant (some grow faster than others), and the initial impact of the chickens (see above). The longer you wait before returning your chicken tractor, the better.

You can also use your eyes to judge:

If you see that the grass has grown back on the spot where the tractor used to be, you can return the tractor.

Useful tips for using a garden chicken tractor :

Useful tips for using a garden chicken tractor

The chicken tractor can be an excellent tool for gardeners, particularly in vegetable gardens.

House For New Chickens And Coop:

We have a chicken run and coop, but we also have a little chicken tractor that the girls use when they are needed in the garden. We rotate garden helpers, and only keep chickens in the tractor a few short days at a given time. This tractor can also be used to house new chicks and broodies.

Chickens Help To Fertilize Soil:

Chickens can be a nuisance in the garden because they destroy plants and create a mess. They also eat weeds and pests, till the soil and fertilize it. You can have all the benefits and none of the issues of having chickens in your garden by using a tractor.

Right Time To Install A chicken Tractor:

After a crop has been harvested, gardeners can install a chicken tractor in the garden. Chickens can eat weeds, pests, and leftover crops.The chickens turn it into fertiliser on the spot, and also turn over and scratch up the soil so that it is good for planting.

It Shouldn’t Be Left At A Single Spot For Long Time:

Left in a single spot for long enough, the chickens can even kill plants or grass. This is done in weedy gardens or when creating a lawn garden.

Chicken manure can be powerful:

The chicken manure can be quite powerful, so it is best to let the garden bed sit after the chickens are gone.We mulch the bed after the chickens are moved and wait for a few weeks before we plant. We plant heavier feeders first like corn, tomatoes, or brassicas because of the fertiliser from the chickens.

Conclusion:

Conclusion

These are available in different sizes and can easily be moved.Some have wheels on the one side of them to make it easier to move. The chicken tractor is a great way to keep chickens in backyards with limited space and rental homes. You can use them in your veggie garden to move chickens and fertilize or clean different beds. To move chickens in a pasture, many pastured egg producers use large chicken tractors that can hold hundreds of hens. They also use electrified net fences.

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