Friday, May 9, 2008

The first chicken tractor

David built this for our chickens. I think he did a great job. We copied one we saw on the net. There is a little door in the front to let them out to graze. We have the larger side door for easier cleaning access. And then there is the door behind the laying box to gather the eggs. The chickens are clearly thrilled to be outside. We let them out every morning after we eat our breakfast while the children play outside to help deter the hawks. And the hawks are definitely there. We will hear them or see them after perhaps noticing the large shadow crossing the lawn.

This is a picture of the birds from just a couple of days ago. They grow so fast! It's unbelievable. We need to make more tractors and paint this one. I am not looking forward to having to decide which of our roosters to weed out. We are starting to be able to differentiate the roosters in all the chickens except the Silkies. Too late we learned that it is actually very hard to determine the sex of a Silkie until they are much older and you can catch the rooster crowing perhaps. See the fluffy white Silkies? They are like balls of fluff running across the lawn. We love the personality so far of Silver Laced Cochin Bantams best. They are so friendly. They love to be held and on their back at that to get their tummy rubbed!


Lindsey said...

How cool, Marcella! He built that just by looking at a pic on the internet and copying it?! That's fantastic! My question is, how to you round them back up into the tractor (is it called that because you can easily move it around? Does it actually have wheels?)? It seems like they could scatter and get lost on your property. Can they fly at all?

Saponaria said...

Yes, it is hard to round them up and, yes, he did just look at a picture with a list of what to buy! LOL So we really don't let them out much right now. I was letting them loose in the yard till they started eating my flowers and our corn. However they will all come inside on their own in the early evening to go to bed.

It does move pretty easily. We have two now. David built another just like it but wider. They do have small wheels in the back. So you just lift the handle on the front to pull. We did change the hinges on the front so the door opens down and out rather than up and out. It's easier to change out their food and not have strays escape.

Yes, they can sort of fly. They all get excited if we let them out and randomly fly up a few feet so they look like they are just kind of randomly popping up in the air. Then they settle into digging in the leaves and brush on the edges of the woods for bugs.

Colleen said...

You have so many! I did not realize you had that many! We only have 6. :)

Charity said...

This is very cool! I wish we could have chickens here.

I'm stalking your blog awaiting a gardening update. :)