chicken tractor use in garden

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bigredrooster, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. bigredrooster

    bigredrooster In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2007
    N.E Ga.
    I was wondering if anyone could help me with a plann or designing a chicken tractor to use in the garden.
    The idea I have is to build it in an A frame style where it will be easy to move or any other stye that can be moved easy.
    My idea is to use it for a week or so till they eat the grass bare to the dirt.Then after it is moved to a new spot go ahead and til the ground good and put books of any type week straw to keep the grass growing back.When ready to plant pull back only the row where the plants will go or seeds.
    Just thought of this idea the other day.
    Hope some one can help me out with ideas about a chicken tractor.
  2. I see you are from Georgia.

    Depending on the type of grass you have, that idea may not work. It does not appear to work on Bermuda grass; if there is even one sprig left, in 2 months, with a little water and even with mulch, you will most likely have the MOST beautiful patch of Bermuda in your whole lawn (because of the extra fertilizer, I guess!).

    The only place the "using chickens to clear an area" is working for me is where the grass was annual grasses; in my case, they were mostly weedy grasses.

    Good luck, though! Even if you can't use the tractor to clear the garden patch, hens are great fun!
  3. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Songster

    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    The tractor we have for the garden is 4x8 and over 24 inches high(would go 36 on future tractors) with a roost and nest place about 4 feet high. I personally dont like the A frame style because it is hard to make cover for rain and sun. Our experience with natural grasses has been good. Also St. Augustine. IMHO if you leave the tractor in a place long enough they will strip it bare then make it a mud hole. I move mine with my Tractor because I dont wanna strain on it, but it can be moved by hand especially with two people. The original plan was to just slide it forward the length of it but I ususally slde it sideways the width of it, and i do that about once a week. Also i split pvc drain pipe and cover the runners with it to make it slide better.

  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    No self-respecting grass will be really killed by just a week or two of chickens. It may look obliterated but all it takes is a few surviving roots and it comes back, probably right around the time your crop is starting to get into the swing of things. Grass wins [​IMG]

    I left my 4x7 3-chicken tractor on one spot of lawn for almost a month this summer (bad Pat) and thought I had killed everything for SURE. (And was bummed). A month later you could barely tell what spot that had been!

    Given how much it bites to have grass infesting your garden, I don't recommend your plan. However you can still do what you describe, but just to discourage the grass, then when you move the tractor dig the area over turning the shovelfuls upside down. At my place, anyway, the combination of chickens AND BURIAL (then mulch) actually does a pretty decent job. (edited to add: this is different from tilling, where many grass roots will end up nr the surface)

    I think the reason nothing much grows in long-term chicken runs is more soil compaction and nitrogen 'poisoning' than dainty weed/grass removal [​IMG]

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2007
  5. hcammack

    hcammack Crowing

    Oct 5, 2007
    We have gravel all around are garden too keep weeds and grass out the chicken tractor is small enought to fit in the garden beds and they also have a outoor.

    Henry Cammack
  6. bigredrooster

    bigredrooster In the Brooder

    Jan 16, 2007
    N.E Ga.
    When I till it like I tried to do when I first put the garden there.I tried to rake the grass on top as much as I could .It is taking time but it should get some of the roots up.

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