Time out in the chicken tractor

Chicken tractor

If I’d paid more
attention to our
it first started, splitting the flock probably would have totally
fixed the problem.  However, August is one of our busiest
farm months, and launching the
August 2013 even busier than  usual.  To cut my excuses
short — I ignored the escaping chickens for several weeks before
fixing the problem, so by the time I really started paying
attention, a couple of hens were too set in their ways to stay
put.  One Red Star and one Australorp-cross persisted in
flying over the fencelines even after being given more space, a
smaller flock, a better nest box (more on that later), and having
their wings soundly clipped.  (All of the White Leghorns
would have been in this problematic category too, but they didn’t
seem as able to fly with their wings clipped for some reason.)

Chicken tractor

So I took Jane’s
and put
those two fliers in our old chicken
.  Since the structure had been sitting around
rotting for years,
had to do a bit of repair
to ensure the bad hens wouldn’t escape, but soon we
were back in business.

Tractored chickens

Even though I’m
sold on larger pastures as a way to keep chickens healthier
, I have to admit that
the permaculture gardener in me was thrilled to have a chicken
tractor back at my disposal.  The first order of business
will be fertilizing and lowering the weed pressure in the garden
area I’ve been fallowing this year, which will probably take most
of the fall months.  Come winter, I may let these ladies back
in with the main flock…but only if they behave.

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