5 Reasons You Need A Chicken Tractor
Here at Little Falls Farm we love our chicken tractors. That’s tractors, plural, because currently we have two chicken tractors, but there is always room for more. Once you discover how useful the chicken tractor is, you will be wanting one for your backyard or farm.
Here are five compelling reasons you need a chicken tractor:
- Free Range with Safety: On our farm here in middle Tennessee we coexist with foxes, wild dogs, hawks, and other predators who find chicken incredibly tasty. Our chickens receive all of the grass, bugs, and sunshine their hearts’ desire within the safety of the chicken tractor’s protection. Our hens are also safely protected from inclement weather, including the snow storm we had this past winter.
- Fresh Eggs Conveniently Located: The chicken tractor’s nesting boxes provide a place for the hens to lay their eggs. Free ranging chickens without the aid of nesting boxes usually leads to hard-to-find eggs all over your property. We are able to gather our eggs daily and we know exactly how fresh they are.
3. Fresh Grass Daily for Chickens: We move our tractors daily so that our chickens are always on new grass. Did you know that, “Eggs from hens who eat grass will have healthier, darker egg yolks, a better hatch rate and will taste better. Grass also meets all of a chicken’s protein needs in the form of amino acids.” (from backyardchickens.com) If chickens stay in one place the ground just becomes dirt and is filled with their feces. Moving the chickens allows the fertilized ground to grow more grass for the chickens, or for other animals on your farm. Here is a link to a guide for rotational grazing.
4. Fertilized and Prepared Soil for Gardening: Chickens do an excellent job of scratching the ground so that the soil they leave behind is free of grass, weeds, and bugs. They have also conveniently added their manure to the ground. Turning this soil over (fresh manure can be too harsh by itself) can create a fertile area for growing fruits, vegetables, herbs, and other plants. Composted chicken manure is rich in nitrogen, so always check the needs of your plants.
5. Fresh Air for Everyone: When chickens are on fresh grass everyday they just don’t stink. Stinky chickens are ones that have been confined to a single area in which new grass is unable to grow and the chickens are continually walking around in their own feces. We can enjoy our chickens near our house and do not have to worry about a bad smell.
This week we moved our chicken tractor next to our newly planted blueberry patch. The chickens will be “mowing” the grass for us and preparing the soil for sunflower seeds to be planted in April.