meat birds in a tractor?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by jrskol2000, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. jrskol2000

    jrskol2000 Chirping

    Sep 7, 2010
    My family and i are going to raise 15 to 20 meat birds in a chicken tractor. I am planning on moving it once or twice a day if necessary. I am wondering in warm weather how long until you can return to the areas the chickens worked over? My yard is not that big and I want to put my tractor in the best place. I understand there are variables. I live in NC and my grass grows fast. Anyone ones experiences or help finding a useful post would be appreciated.

  2. CARS

    CARS Songster

    I think the biggest thing that will help you is rain. I tractor-ed about that many one year and we had a very, very dry summer so the grass just went dormant.

    I'm sure that there are many, many posts similar to this one if you did a site search. (I don't have any links to pass along to you)
  3. Dogfish

    Dogfish Rube Goldberg incarnate

    Mar 17, 2010
    Western Washington
    You can get them outside at 3 or 4 weeks old. After about 2 weeks I am back at the place where I started. The grass recovers pretty quickly. Quicker than I would have thought.
  4. barrybro

    barrybro Songster

    May 22, 2009
    SW Michigan
    I put mine out after two weeks into 40 degree weather. They did great. I had 60 in a pen so plenty of bodies to keep each other warm.

    They will nevery look like they can stand the cold becuase they don't really feather out like egg layers.

  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I'd think an area would need a week or more to rest. Probably less when the birds are younger and don't damage the grass as much, maybe longer when they're older. If you're yard is too small for that, maybe designate an area as a sacrifice area, where you keep the tractor for a day or two to let the rest of the grass recover. Then when you move them off, clean the poo so it doesn't accumulate too much and you can use that area again in a few days if need be. Then, use that spot for a garden!

  6. 95yj

    95yj Songster

    Nov 25, 2009
    Central Vermont
    It depends on if your talking about a typical lawn with kentucky bluegrass or a field with tough pasture grasses. I'm assuming your on a lawn, which is fine it just takes a little bit longer for it to come back. Last year we had a pretty dry summer till the and and the grass was just starting to come back by fall, but if its rainy it'll come back alot quicker. I typically do not use the same piece of land twice since i use the chickens to fertilize stuff, but its not gonna kill the birds if you do. It might kill the grass though, to give you an example of what they do to the grass, when we want a new garden plot we just park the chicken tractor in one place for 3-4 days straight, by the end there is no grass. The nitrogen overload can also burn out the grass, but its not gonna hurt the chickens. Its better to move them more often and have to go back over someplace eventually than to move them less often, the grass will return much faster.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by