Changing my plans, what do you think.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by pfost262, Jan 26, 2017.

  1. pfost262

    pfost262 Chirping

    Jan 16, 2013
    My house sits on about 1/4 acre. Give or take. I've been running (up to at one point) 21 hens in a coop and run in the back yard for five years. Recently I've decided to redo my backyard and change my chicken plans. I want to toy with the idea of 'grazing' about 12 hens in a tractor around the front side and backyard and keeping about 6 in the coop and making the run smaller. Has anyone used a tractor in a small ish piece of land? Benefits to the grass? Any pros and cons welcome. I need to do something, my backyard needs to be redone.
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    When you go the tractor route you commit to moving it when you need to. There are a lot of different ways to make a tractor and your climate makes a difference. Some people move tractors twice a day, some can go a lot longer. If you are talking about one where it is totally enclosed instead of a coop surrounded by electric netting, you will move it more often. Especially if it is wet, it does not take long for it to start to stink.

    12 chickens might be a lot for a tractor if they are totally enclosed. Chicken density has a lot to do with how often it has to be moved. You can get something really heavy really fast to house that many chickens. Are you moving it by hand or a tractor? Is it on skids or wheels? That is a lot of chickens for a tractor you move by hand. I’m really concerned with 12 chickens in a tractor.

    The chickens will quickly eat the grass down and leave a bald spot. That’s part of why some people move the tractor a couple of times a day. When I tried a tractor (64 square feet for 8 birds) I moved it once every two or three days because it soon started to stink, especially in wet weather. It can leave fairly yellow areas stripped of vegetation, but soon the grass grows back fast and dark green because of the poop breaking down. So you can wind up with a yard with areas yellow and fairly bare and have older areas where the grass is really thick and dark compared to your other grass.

    I don’t know where you are located. A lot of people use tractors in the summer but have a fixed coop for winter. You don’t get much benefit with a tractor in snow or when the grass is not growing.

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