Adventures in Chickensitting: The Chicken Tractor Coop

http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/chicken-tractor-coop.aspx

Taylor Miller(cont’d from here)

Few things are friendlier to an urban chicken farmer than the chicken tractor, a coop-on-wheels that gives you the freedom to move your chickens from one part of the yard to another. Granted, it’s an unusual name, but the tractor comes with a fenced-in run that allows your chickens to move around and exercise, helpful if your yard isn’t enclosed.

Chicken tractors come in a variety of sizes and are relatively easy to construct from raw materials, however, if you’re like me, you want the assurance that your chicken tractor coop is sturdy, well-constructed and as predator-proof as possible. Enter GardenEggs.com.

Chicken Tractor Garden Eggs

In early July, GardenEggs.com shipped the Big Egg Chicken Tractor, which came in four boxes, each labeled and ready to piece together. We spent two hours assembling the chicken tractor coop, and it was ready immediately for the chicken’s transition.

When they were about seven weeks old, I felt comfortable that the birds were large enough to transfer to the coop. Within a week, I opened the door from the chicken tractor coop to the run so the birds could fly around but were still protected (and contained). 

Chicken Tractor Closeup

The chicken tractor coop has several features that are ideal for an urban setting. For instance, you can open the roof of the coop to collect eggs, the run has a gate in case you’d like to allow your chickens to move freely through your yard, and there are three roosting bars suitable for about eight hens (roosters not recommended). And, perhaps most importantly, it moves!

Chicken Tractor Roof Open

At 12 weeks, I clipped the pullets’ wings, opened the gate to the run and allowed my girls to caper freely during the day. They enjoy being able to skip around the yard, frequently returning to the coop when it’s too hot or the weather is too intense. They seem to have no difficulty identifying the coop as home, even as it travels around the backyard. And every night, when I make sure they have returned safely, I smile and think to myself that, quite literally, the chickens have come home to roost.

Photos by Taylor Miller