Jane's Delicious Garden Blog

Chicken Tractor

Posted in Garden Diary by Jane Griffiths on the October 5th, 2011

I first heard about a chicken tractor from one of my American magazines about ten years ago. It was a review of a book a homesteader had written about using chickens to till and fertilise the land. I wanted one. And now (finally!!) I have a chicken tractor with four happy hens installed in my garden.

It is all thanks to Keith who hammered and sawed the thing together (with a tiny bit of ‘hold this’ and ‘pull that’ help from me) We decided to make it using as much recycled material as possible.

This is the wood from an old fence that we took down a few years ago. It was more difficult to work with than purchased wood as it is quite uneven, making it harder to fit all the bits together.

After looking at plenty of designs we decided on a A Frame with the shelter on one side at the top of the A. This would maximise the amount of ground space the chooks would have.

The sides of the A being made:

Power tools help! (You can see it is still winter – the creeper on the house is not green yet . . .)

One side with reinforced edges

Joys of recycling – having to gouge out bits from uneven wood to make everything fit.

A man with a plan!

A frame taking shape:

Cross beams added for support.

Securing the top . . .

It was cold when we were working on it and we’d read that chickens don’t like being cold so Keith pulled out some polystyrene boards that had been used on some film shoot and used them as insulation. Lucky chooks!

Recycled roof.

A door so we can clean and feed.

The tractor finished and the chickens just arrived. Not sure who is more fascinated!

And the chooks settling in . . .under Tilu’s watchful eye!

Tosca having a sniff.

By the next morning the fascination had not worn off.

And now finally the lawn is back to normal instead of being a coop construction zone . . .