We use chicken tractors to move our birds along on pasture during the “growing” season. What are chicken tractors? Are they little machines that the birds ride on and go about their business? While, pretty entertaining to envision, no they are not. They are basically mobile coops that we use to move the birds every day.
Salatin Style Tractor
There are many designs out there with two main designs dominating farms of our size, the Salatin style and the Suscovich style. We went with the Suscovich style as it holds fewer birds and subsequently is easier to move. This means that as the girls grow up, they can start moving the birds with dad at an earlier age.
Wild Child Farms Tractors on Pasture
We built all them ourselves after buying the plans from John Suscovich over at Farm Marketing Solutions. They were relatively easy to build, with myself able to build two of them from start to finish in about six hours. We have modified three of them for our egg layers with nesting boxes, so we can send the egg layers out there to eat yummy grasses and bugs.
While the birds are out on pasture they have the tractors to protect them along with some poultry netting that we set up as a first line of defense against critters. The system works really well, as we’ve only lost one bird to predators since we started, and that was that hen’s fault because she wouldn’t go back into the tractor after she did a jail break.
Not only do we use them for the chickens, but we also use the tractors for our turkeys, and this year we used one of them for a trial run of meat ducks.
Overall we are extremely happy with the system, its ease of use, and the quality of the birds we are able to produce using it.