June 20, 2010

Poultry in Motion

I thought I'd share a couple of photos of the chicken tractor, which, thanks to a break in the weather, is finally finished. We made it out of scrap wood and cedar trim left over from the house construction, as well as bits of leftover fencing.

If you've never heard the term "chicken tractor", it's basically a moveable pen which gets pushed from place to place, allowing the chickens to trim, weed, and aerate your lawn or garden beds, fertilizing the soil along the way. It's beneficial for the soil, and keeps the chickens from getting bored. Curved wooden skids on the high side make it easier to move.

The girls explore their new pen while Chuck trims off the excess wire.

The tractor docks on the opposite side of the coop from the run, and will serve as an extra "room" when it's not being moved around the yard. It will also be handy as a broody pen should we decide to hatch our own chicks (the hardware cloth on the sides is 3/4 inch so babies can't squeeze out), or as a place to keep a sick or injured bird. We're going to make a removeable roof of some kind to cover one half of it, which will give them some shelter from the elements.

I can't wait to take this baby for a spin!


Annie said...

That's so great. I'd never heard of one before but it answers a lot of questions I have about how to get the chickens to different spots of a property without losing any in the process.... Do you just move it slowly as the chickens run along inside?

Cheryl said...

Annie - Yes, that's the plan anyway. I imagine they learn pretty quickly how to avoid getting their toes caught! :)


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