What is a Chicken Tractor?
A chicken tractor is a chicken coop with wheels. If you allow your chickens to be outside, you will want to occasionally move your chickens to keep them from tearing up your grass when they peck and scratch. A chicken tractor allows you to move the coop very effortlessly from spot to spot.
Let’s quickly cover what a chicken tractor actually is. Let’s look at how a chicken tractor is constructed and that will help us understand better what a chicken tractor is.
How is a chicken tractor built?
First, make sure there is enough room for the number of chickens you plan to keep in the chicken tractor. You should have at least 2 square feet per chicken. Second, make sure to have at least one nesting box per 3 birds, and lastly, have a roosting bar with 8 inches of bar per chicken.
You should also have human access to the inside of the nesting box to make cleaning out easier. Gathering the eggs will go much smoother when you can just reach inside for them.
Consider installing a watering device inside so that your chickens can keep hydrated throughout the night. Also, a feeder is a good idea to have inside, although it is not required.
Having a small window will help to keep the air fresh and clean throughout the nesting box.
Zooming out to the run area, it is a good idea to have the nesting box located a little off the ground, 12 to 16 inches, to have a small shaded area for the chickens during the heat of the day.
The run area should be fully enclosed with wire mesh to protect against daytime predators. Consider throwing a tarp across a portion of the run to create more shade from the sun. Add additional feeding and watering devices so that the chickens can have access to feed and water without having to go inside the nesting box of the chicken tractor.
Why should you use a chicken tractor?
If you like having your chickens outside, and you don’t want them to dig up your lawn and destroy your grass, but you want to move them about to keep lawn pests to a minimum- then a chicken tractor is for you.
The very reason a chicken tractor was created was to help keep your chickens mobile and protected. If you like to move your chickens from area to area, this tractor will be the perfect fit for you.
When a chicken is outdoors, it will scratch the grass/ground to find grass or pests to eat. This action will loosen the top inch or so of soil helping to keep your lawn healthy. However, if you keep them concentrated in the same area day after day, the tearing and pecking action from the chickens will destroy your grass.
Another great reason for a chicken tractor is that when moving the chickens from spot to spot they will help to control the pests that are in your ground. Chickens will scratch up and eat the tender tips of grass and weeds, bugs, slugs, and snails.
If you are planning for a garden in a certain area of your lawn, let your chicken tractor set over that area for several days. The chickens will scratch at the ground, tearing up and eating the grasses, weeds, and pests. In the process they will let nitrogen- and phosphorus rich manure behind.
How should I care for my chickens if I'm using a chicken tractor?
There are two main ways folks use chicken tractors. The first way is as a mobile home for free-range chickens. In this way, people will let their chickens out of the coop to range in the yard. This way you will only need to move the chicken tractor once or twice per week.
When letting your chickens run free-range, it will also encourage them to eat more forage and therefore cost you less in grain expenses.
Chickens will automatically come back to the chicken tractor every evening at dusk and you should close all gates and doors that would allow a predator to come in.
The second way people use a chicken tractor is to keep the chickens inside the tractor all the time. This way allows you to concentrate the manure put out by the chickens, ideal if you are planning to plant a garden. You can move them about and keep your yard healthy, by not letting them denude the grass at one spot. If you are using a chicken tractor and using this second method, we recommend moving them once every day or two.
What chicken tractor should I purchase?
If you are ready to purchase a chicken tractor, don’t forget to browse the options that we have available. Our standard chicken tractors are able to house anywhere from 2 to 10 chickens. The smallest model, the L34T is able to house 2-3 chickens and our largest model is able to keep 8-10 chickens.
Check out these two articles on choosing the right chicken coop for you. The first is entitled “How to choose the Right Size Chicken Coop for Your Chickens” and it discusses the exact size chicken coop you should have for your chickens. The second article “Chicken Coop Prices” discusses the prices of our different chicken coops.
In the end, using a chicken tractor is a great way to raise chickens.
A chicken tractor makes it easy to keep your chickens safe day and night, as well as providing protection from most any predator. Our chicken coops are affordable, well built, and will provide protection for your chickens as well as being easy to move about.
Give us a call or request a quote that includes shipping of the chicken tractor to your home.