Here at LAM Family Farms we raise our chickens in Chicken Tractors. Just what is a Chicken Tractor? A Chicken Tractor is movable chicken housing were the chickens have access to the grass. I think the word “Tractor” is what throws people off. More on that in a minute. The great thing about chicken tractors is that they are so easy to construct and cheap. I make my chicken tractors out of two cattle panels bent over and attached to a frame built out of 2 X 4’s. This frame is then surrounded in Chicken wire. A door is fashioned. A tarp is attached with zip-ties. And boom, Chicken Tractor.
The chicken tractors provide security and protection from predation. Meanwhile the chickens are on grass. They can eat bugs and grass. They can scratch. They dig shallow holes so they can dusty themselves. Their excrement is fertilizer. All of the scratching and digging and fertilizer is great for my soil. This is the “tractor” part. Depending on how long I leave the chicken tractor in one place is how bare the soil can get. For example, If I leave it in one place for a week or longer I can almost get rid of all vegetation, I call this the scorched earth policy. The soil will be aerated and fertilized. The shallow holes will hold water. I use this in order to start my home gardens. Normally I will move the chicken tractors twice a day or every couple of days.
The above picture really shows the affects a Chicken Tractor can have on the soil. At the very top you see dense, darker colored grass. With each movement there is a different level of new grass growth.
The picture above is an impromptu garden. I had a bunch of seeds left over from previous years. I mixed them up and spread them over this area that I had just moved the chicken tractor from. I spread the seeds out just before a rain. You can see above that I had pretty good results.
Chicken tractors are a very handy way to manage chickens. Cheap and easy. Try it. If you have any questions contact me. I will help you if I can.