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chicken tractors for weeding...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Lesa, Jan 19, 2009.

  1. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    I am thinking about designing a simple tractor that is the width of my garden isles, putting the chickens in for an hour or so each day -my isles will be weeded and my chickens happy. My question is- do I have to wait until evening? I don't want to take the chickens away from the coop, if they haven't laid yet. If I put a chicken in the garden and she needs to lay an egg, will she be distressed? We let the chickens in the garden in the fall- boy did they have a good time and I swear we didn't need to rototill, they did such a great job!
     
  2. Mikeeeeeeeeee

    Mikeeeeeeeeee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 20, 2007
    Wetumpka
    Put a laying box in the tractor.
     
  3. momofdrew

    momofdrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    check out www.gardengirltv on youtube she uses chickens in her uban garden ...
     
  4. katiek

    katiek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 4, 2008
    Wildwood, GA
    Here's a dumb question:

    I've been wanting to put my chickens in my garden for weed contol as well. But won't they eat my veggies?

    Or do I just put them in the garden before I grow to prep the soil?
     
  5. katiek

    katiek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 4, 2008
    Wildwood, GA
    p.s. from my research Lesa, they say you should build nesting boxes in the tractor.
     
  6. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 28, 2008
    Upstate NY
    I guess I will have to put a simple nesting box in the tractor, as well. Do not put the chickens in your garden after it is planted!! (without the tractor). The chickens will devour everything and what they don't eat, they will dig up!! Putting the chickens in the garden before planting is perfect. They will do a good spring cleanup for you. After you plant, keep them confined or replant! [​IMG]
     
  7. momofdrew

    momofdrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    They are wonderful bug control.... I had them in my garden all last summer and though they did eat some of my produce I got a lot for my self... this year i plan on using a bit of netting on things I dont want them to bother... I only have 4 birds so if you have 40 birds you would be asking for trouble letting them ranger in the veggie patch...
     
  8. slc

    slc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 10, 2008
    Upper Michigan
    We had the same idea! We will be building long skinny movable tractors w/ raised enclosure and nest boxes and about 2 or 3 hens each. The tractor will be the width of our garden isles 2-3 feet and about 10 feet long. When the chickens have weeded and scratched in their droppings the tractor will be moved along the isle from row to row. Next year we will plant in last year's isles and switch off isles and rows each season. If left to pasture in the garden they will likely destroy your produce. You have to confine them to the areas you want weeded. You could use temporary poultry fencing in the isles, I suppose, but you still need to provide access to nests, water, food, and shade. A movable tractor does all four.
     
  9. egggarden

    egggarden Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2008
    Central Wisconsin
    A simple portable nest box I have used outside is an empty Tidycat kitty litter bucket placed on it's side. Cut the lid along the flap, and you have a nice little ledge that holds the bedding in. Simple to clean. My chooks use it in the summer when free ranging and they don't want to go all the way back to the coop.[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2009
  10. big greg barker

    big greg barker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 26, 2008
    central maine
    This is exactly what I will be doing this spring. I'm glad to see I'm not the only nut.....[​IMG]
     

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