Tractor Vs. Tractor

Around here when we are talking about “tractors” chances are good we are talking about portable chicken pens.  It’s a way to keep chickens safe and give them access to fresh grass.

Since we are raising chickens for meat right now Paul has been busy building new tractors for them to live in.  We wanted to feed them a combined diet of standard chicken feed and pasture.  We also wanted them to have plenty of space to move around and stretch their wings and play.  In other words, we wanted happy chickens, since they are going to be feeding us.  We can at least return the favor by making sure they are happy and healthy leading up to freezer camp.

Originally Paul was going to build 3 of these triangle – shaped tractors.  They are very basic, very sturdy, and light-weight enough for either me or the kids to move around easily.

Problem was, I didn’t think that they’d be big enough for fifty birds to have room to roam around.

When they were still fairly small we put them all in this one tractor.  It was roomy enough for them, but it wouldn’t be for long.

So Paul stepped outside the box and built them a new tractor.

From an old trampoline.

They now have a ton of room to move around and not be on top of each other.

As they reach their peak size we won’t have to worry about overcrowding.  We move it every two days or so – and they do quite a job mowing down all the grass in there.  They have a waterer that Paul put a float valve in so that they are never without water.  They get fresh air and shade.

As for the original tractor, there is a new family living in there for now.

Fleur and her babies have taken up residence there.  They’ll stay until the babies are old enough to be introduced to the flock at large (in other words, big enough to defend themselves from the inevitable bullying of the newbies).



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