How often do you move a chicken tractor?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bnjrob, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

    2,359
    801
    291
    Dec 31, 2008
    North TX
    If I can find someone that has the chicks I want (rare breed) then I am planning on getting a small flock going this yeare. We are going to build a chicken tractor so we can move them around the property. Does anyone have a rough guestimate on how often a chicken tractor should be moved?
     
  2. claudicles

    claudicles Chillin' With My Peeps

    184
    5
    91
    Mar 26, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    It depends on what you want to acheive. Some people will leave it in one place for ages to allow the poop to accumulate then let it age and use it as a vegetable patch. I move mine daily so the chickens get fresh greens each day and the ground they have been on gets to recover. I am on 2.5 acres so I have plenty of land to mave them around. The longer you leave it in one place the more damage they will do. You can't specify exactly how long though as it will depend on how many chickens, how big a tractor and what they are grazing on and whether it is actively growing or not. My brother has one he has left in place for couple of months but he has a fenced area around it they graze too. Mine are in the tractor all the time due to predators so I like to move it a lot for them.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  3. jamband

    jamband Chillin' With My Peeps

    582
    5
    123
    Apr 26, 2011
    Its a game of so many things. Tractor size. # of chickens, activity level of your chickens, the quality of your soil/grasses etc......It will take some time for it to recover if you allow them to destroy all the grass etc and they wont eat as well. The fresh pasture is enjoyable for them, good for us eating their eggs, and moving more often will ensure faster recovery.....Its a personal choice but I say the more often the better.
     
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    7,950
    271
    321
    Aug 20, 2010
    Colmesneil,TX
    You move it when you want to basically. Every day is usually best.
     
  5. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

    2,359
    801
    291
    Dec 31, 2008
    North TX
    Thanks so much for the responses!

    We have 5 acres of pasture, so there is plenty of room. And when there isn't a horrible drought like this past year, we have grass with some hay growing enough that we have to mow every month or so. They will have to be in the tractor all of the time because of the risk of predators from the ground and the sky. We're planning on building a good size tractor to avoid crowding problems. For now my goal is to let them eat whatever bugs and grasses they want and am not worried about getting manure for composting/garden use.

    I am trying to get some heritage breed Javas, since they are still known for being able to forage.
     
  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    7,950
    271
    321
    Aug 20, 2010
    Colmesneil,TX
    Sounds like a great plan! Wish I had 5 acres to use, Oh the chicken math I'd be working then LOL.
     
  7. Cargo

    Cargo Chillin' With My Peeps

    583
    7
    121
    Sep 28, 2010
    Farmington, NM
    I moved mine every morning. and it worked out well.
     
  8. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

    2,359
    801
    291
    Dec 31, 2008
    North TX
    5 acres IS great, although we've been here 5 years and have discovered that it just isn't enough room :) Before this we had an acre and that got to be too small with all the dogs and cats we have.

    I found a breeder that is going to have more Javas, so got my first chicken order in this morning - looks like hubby will be building a second chicken tractor for the "extras" I am getting. :)

    I guess I will have to see what kind of damage the chickens will do, to be able to decide how often to move the chicken tractor.
     
  9. jamband

    jamband Chillin' With My Peeps

    582
    5
    123
    Apr 26, 2011
    with that much room you can just observe...you will see when its time and get a hang of it... Just move sooner than later if you dont want bald spots after the move. Have you ever read pastured poultry profits? great details
     
  10. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,390
    131
    303
    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    Unless I don't get home until after dark I move all of mine every day.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by