What is a chicken tractor

Chicken tractor

We have three chicken tractors, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we have twice that many in a few
years.  For the uninitiated, a chicken tractor is a moveable
chicken coop/run with everything your chickens need in a small
space.  Each morning, I move the tractors to a new patch of lawn,
where they scratch for bugs, engulf greenery, and fertilize the
ground.  We get free lawnmowing and fertilizing along with better
while the chickens get healthy additions to their diet — it’s a

Barred Plymouth RockAnimals are an important part of any natural
ecosystem, but most modern
farming tries to cut them out of the picture. 
Chicken tractors
put animals back in, but in a controlled manner.  Left to their
own devices, free range chickens would make short work of a vegetable
garden, eating up your tomatoes and strawberries, scratching your mulch
aside, and generally making a nuisance of themselves.  (Yes, I
speak from personal experience.)  On the other hand, pen chickens
up in a permanent coop/run and they will eat all of the greenery in a
matter of days, leaving bare earth which doesn’t provide any of their

Some folks drag
the tractors directly over their garden to fertilize, but I’ve found
this is difficult with raised beds, and also gives the chickens less
food.  So we added the mulching lawnmower to our chicken tractor
system, allowing us to cut grass fertilized by our chickens, then use
the greenery as mulch or compost in the garden.  Thanks, hens!

We invented our homemade chicken
specifically for tractors.  Check it out to prevent
spilling of water on uneven terrain.

This post is part of our Introduction to Chicken Tractors series
Read all of the entries:

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