Raising chickens is popular nowadays. Whether you are just a hobbyist or one who raises chickens for livestock, having organic eggs and chicken meat right at the tip of your fingertips is definitely a great and practical thing to do.
Chicken meat is one of the staple meats that people always eat. If you are raising chickens your own, you could always afford to make a delicious chicken meal. You won’t need to rush at the supermarket to buy chicken eggs and meat. All you have to do is collect some fresh supplies of chicken eggs and meat inside your backyard.
Since home-raised chickens are providing you with quality eggs and meat, it is only natural for you to also provide their most basic needs such as shelter. If you are using chicken coops to house your chickens, then you might consider giving them a better home such as a chicken tractor.
What are chicken tractors?
Otherwise known as chicken runs, chicken tractors are basically moveable chicken pens. They usually come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They could be triangular, square or rectangular. The dimensions could range between 4-10 feet wide and 6-15 feet long.
This type of chicken shelter is usually built with a wooden skeleton frame surrounded by wire walls. At one end, there could be a roofed area where the chickens could lay their eggs. Most chicken tractors are also equipped with the basic necessities such as a feeder, water source and a roost.
What’s special about these chicken runs is that they don’t have a floor. Chicken raisers are free to move their tractors to any part of their yard where chickens are free to graze inside their shelter without worrying about predators.
Advantages of using chicken tractors
You might be wondering how a chicken tractor is better than a chicken coop. Though a chicken coop has its own perks, chicken tractors are also unique in their own way. Here are some of the reasons on why you should invest for a chicken tractor:
It completes their diet.
If you think that a chicken’s diet is all about pellets and grains, then you are wrong. Chickens actually need a diet that’s also rich in calcium, especially the ones that lay eggs. When chickens are allowed to graze in the wild, they often look for bugs and plants to eat. Bugs and insects are rich in calcium which could help in the development of egg shells. If your chickens are only kept inside chicken coops, they won’t be able to get the nutrition they need.
It protects them from predators.
Some chicken raisers prefer to let their chickens out in the wild because this could serve as the chickens’ exercise and finding the additional food that they need. However, there is a risk that your chickens and chicks would be preyed upon by common chicken predators such as hawks, eagles, owls, domestic dogs and cats, raccoons, opossums, skunks, rats, coyotes, foxes, weasels, bobcats, wolves and snakes. But with a chicken tractor that doesn’t have a floor; they could still find bugs and plants to eat without having them let loose.
It helps you to fertilize your lawn.
With the periodic moving of your chicken tractor, you are giving yourself the favour to fertilize your lawn naturally. Whatever breed of chicken you raise, a chicken’s manure serves as a great fertilizer to your lawn because it contains a high amount of nitrogen and phosphorus that supports a plant’s root development. With natural fertilizers within your reach, you could lower your fertilizer costs. Aside from providing natural fertilizer, they also provide an added bonus of eating all the pests found in your lawn.
Your garden plants remain safe.
Chickens love to scratch dirt and when they do, they usually do it in your garden that’s full of veggies, herbs, tomatoes, root crops and many more. If you’re tired and sick of shooing your chickens away from your precious garden, a chicken run provides a free-range grazing ground for them. It satisfies their need for grazing, and at the same time, it keeps chickens away from your hard-tilled garden. There’ll be no more uprooted herbs or holed fruits. Congratulations!
It provides less maintenance for you.
Given that the tractor has no flooring, you are saved from the task of cleaning up the manure. Since you’ll be moving the tractor every day in your lawn, the manure won’t pile up and the bacteria won’t be looming around. All you have to do is to feed and water your chickens, and to move the tractor. If you’re worried about moving the tractor, there are chicken tractors that are designed with wheels.
Are you ready to provide your chickens with a better home? If so, you’d better be looking out for a good chicken run that meets their needs.