Chicken Habitat

For the hens I will be building 2 chicken tractors.

A tractor is a coop that is mobile in some way or another. Some tractors are very large (50 -100 or more) with wheels that you would have to pull with a mower, tractor or horses and have little to no fencing beyond the fence around the field it is in at the time. The chickens simply stay close to the tractor for the most part for shade food and water and a place to roost or lay eggs off the ground. You could feasibly make a boxed in fence run that was pretty huge and on wheels attached to the hen house if you felt the need. Or move it separately. What they need is safety from predators and inclement weather.

Others are medium sized with wheels and can house quite a few depending on dimensions and still be moved by one or two people. Barely. So be careful!

The ones we are going to make are compact but roomy. Perches and nest are above with plenty of wide ground space below. This will enable us to know where the chickens are at all times as well as keep them safe from predators and still allow them to be 'free' range.

These coops will be moved every second day or so. They will never run out of food this way. The chickens will aerate and fertilize the place they are in for those two days and then get moved to a fresh space ( 4-5 feet over, or the width of the foot print) where there is once again everything they need. We can even put this over a portion of the garden and have them do the work for us before planting time :) Here is a picture of the type of coop we will be building. They are very light weight and can be moved by one person if it has wheels or you move one end and then the other, however, they are light enough for my DD9 and I to move together. And they are simple easy and beautiful :) Perfect! If you would like a copy of the plans for this type of coop I can give you the link, just ask in the comment section :)

These little coop tractors will house enough chickens for a family to have eggs and are easy to make a little bigger or in half to make them smaller and are perfect for the urban back yard. No mess, no smell and lots of eggs. Children love it!

In many areas you can have chickens even in the city. Make sure there are no CC & R's barring it, if there are you may need to get creative as you will need to convince your neighbors that they will not be bothered, and check with the city officials if you are unsure. A safe way to appease you neighbors is to go rooster free :) Just know that eventually one hen will stop laying and pretend to be a rooster! Isn't that funny?!

We raise heritage breeds and allow our mother hens to hatch naturally but at times it is necessary to move them and there clutch and or brood to the broody coop for safety from the other chickens. We also raise chicks for other families and use these broody coops for those purposes when they just come from a hatchery and not our hens. Pics of the broody coops are forthcoming! We have been using these for about four years now and they are marvelous!

Our current large stationary coop area will now only be used for an intermediate pen. A pen to be used in between the broody coop and moving a to a knew home or to be butchered or to the tractor. Since we have been having drainage issues with this area and it is over inundated with nitrogen I will be adding ashes and tilling it up. We will then add drainage stones and pipe and sand before I put the soil back down with some nice compost and replant. It will be nice and green again.

6 Responses to “Chicken Habitat”

Jakesmama said...

Awesome coop! Can I please have the linky to the plans?? We have chickens in a stationary coop which is pretty makeshift and the ground is in terrible condition (its winter here) all muddy and smelly!! We desperately need to sort out a new, preferably moveable, coop that is spacious enough for our 6 goodsized brown shavers and this looks perfect!

Teri Gelseth said...

Absolutely :) This will be perfect for for your needs with just 6 chickens :) That is about how many we plan to have in each ours as well :)


Enjoy and let us know how it goes

Christy said...

I would love the link for the plans. It would be nice to let the chickens out of the stationary fencing - they have eaten all the grass etc. in there.

Diana Bauman said...

What a great post! My husband built me a chicken tractor this year. I live within city limits so they're only in my backyard, but I move it to a new spot in my yard every day. The birds in this tractor are my meat birds so I'll only be doing this for another four weeks or so. Thanks so much for linking this to Simple Live Thursday :)

Teri Gelseth said...

Here you go Christy :) It is nice to allow them to get out there and have some green stuff to eat and lowers your food bill while making them so much happier and more healthy for you.


Diana thats so great! I hope to be linking to Simple Life regularly. Love it!

Teri what a beautiful tractor! Oh to have as much land as you do...