O.K., I missed it . What is a chicken tractor?

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I have seen the post refering to a "chicken tractor". I must have missed the original thread. Could someone share this with me as I am considering getting my wife a couple of ducks and what I have deciphered is this is a type of pen. Thanks .

-- Jay Blair (jayblair678@yahoo.com), August 25, 2000


I have a tractor which is a shop queen, in fact it is there now,but I don't think it is chicken to come out. Actually it is keeping chickens in moveable pens so they do some of the work of a tractor. There is a book out with the same title. Joel Salatin's book Pastured Poultry Profits also includes raising chickens in portable pens.

-- Ken S. in TN (scharabo@aol.com), August 25, 2000.

I see. How do you think a tractor pen would work with a few ducks? Lynn wants some ducks and I have noticed that a neighbors ducks really keep their lawn free of crickets. We got so many crickets here I'm thinking of going into fishin bait.

-- Jay Blair (jayblair678@yahoo.com), August 25, 2000.

I suspect for any effective control you are going to have to free- range. Should make for some good tasting duck. Grasshoppers are pretty good protein.

-- Ken S. in TN (scharabo@aol.com), August 26, 2000.

Here ya go, Jay.

The Chicken Tractor allows the chooks to graze, but they're still confined:



Here's a bunch of plans for coops and also some different kinds of tractors:


-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), August 26, 2000.

Youhad to remind me, I told my wife over a moth ago that I would build a C-tractor, the lumber is all out there waiting for me.

-- Hendo (OR) (redgate@echoweb.net), August 26, 2000.


This is for your wife. Have you tried a cattle prod?

-- Ken S. in TN (scharabo@aol.com), August 26, 2000.

I built a lightweight chicken tractor out of PVC piping and orange construction fencing. I used zip ties to hold it all together. A plastic 55 gallon drum with hinged flaps serves as a shelter. The drum rests on wood supports and one end (with a flap for access) pokes through a circular opening I cut in the fencing. I cut the opening just a hair smaller than the circumference of the barrel so the cut edges can be tucked behind the barrel rim. This keeps the critters out. I also left a 5 inch skirt that keeps critters from burrowing in. With these materials I was able to do all the work myself and it's light enough for my kids to move! Just a little imagination and some pictures of other tractors can get you started.

-- glynnis in KY (gabbycab@msn.com), August 27, 2000.

Great info folks! I've printed this out so my wife and I can decide what to do. I just hope she doesn't take Kens' advice on the cattle prod.

-- Jay Blair (jayblair678@yahoo.com), August 28, 2000.

Heres another use: We found out that these chicken tractors work well as emergency dog (small breeds) and rabbit pens. I didn't have the leash for the dog (a 21 lbs. Sheltie) when visiting the folks one day, and we found she fits just fine in the pen -- enough room to walk around with a couple inches of headroom to spare. (The rabbits can't stay long though -- they'll eventually dig under the pen and escape.)

-- Anne-marie (csymag@tds.net), August 31, 2000.

c-tractors were used durring WW II to keep chickens confined in the back-yards. A companion to Victory Garden is the Victor Barnyard its how to raise small stock in small spaces. I think the idea for the name came from using the chickens - inclosed in a movable coop- to till up a garden bed. So any small movable coop (sized to fit over a garden bed) is a c-tractor. The Smithsonian July 2000 issue has an artical by V. Shepard about the polyface farm. NOW THIS GUY knows what He is doing !!!! Starting with an un heated hoophouse, suspends rabbit cages form the bows. Under these on the litter are chickens or pigs.(eggs or bacon) Now when grass is back in the pastures out go the small stock to c- tractors, in come the tomatoes into the hoop house. Rabbits for meat and fur; checkens for meat and eggs; pigs well for pigs; tomatoes ! worms? for fishing. Now that's a good idea ....gone fishing

-- Greg Sanderson (stonycft@worldpath.net), August 31, 2000.

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