1. Geordonbuck223

    Geordonbuck223 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2011
    How many laying hens would I be able to fit in a PVC chicken tractor that is 12 by 8 feet and used as a day pen!?
     
  2. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I'll give you my 2 cents---

    Using the traditional 10sq ft per bird that is about 10 birds. THis is a number often used but it is only a starting point. Many factors affect the actual number of birds that work in your specific situation. Consider the " pasture" they are on-- is it legume or is it lawn? How ofen can the tractor be moved? Can you use all the eggs?

    Crowding creates numerous problems. As you are just starting into this venture, go for 8-10 layers. THey will be healthier and happier.

    How are you moving them from tractor to coop? If you are carrying them-- this will become very tedious very fast.

    Move the tractor often, as the hens will destroy the grass and reduce it to dirt. One of my pens is VERY large and every blade of grass is gone. THey prefer eating lovely grass to their pellets.

    Keep us posted on what you decide to do and how it works out!! GOod luck.
     
  3. Geordonbuck223

    Geordonbuck223 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will probably ,I've it every day? Do you have a PVC tractor that you can post pictures of and that is perfect because I have 10 chickens.....should I make it a little larger....if so what should the dimensions be?
     
  4. Geordonbuck223

    Geordonbuck223 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 7, 2011
    Also what type of grass should I plant for them to graze on?
     
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Size of tractor is less important as moving it regularly. Keep them on fresh grass. MOve every 1-2 days so you need a design that you can move easily.

    I made a wooden one and it is very heavy and not easy to move, so it doesn't move. I let that group out to free range instead. The land here is very rocky to boot,a nd is not condusive to my style of tractor. THough someone suggested a PVC type is likely to adjust to the contures better.

    Keeping the tractor smaller will also help with the design. THe larger it is the more supports it will need = greater weight.

    Invest in the legumes-- alfalfa and red clovers grow tall; white clovers tend to be lower. I did some reseach last winter and found that finding this information is difficult.

    I read all the Joel Saladins books I could get via library loan; I read the blog at sugar mountain farm in VT. The latter raises pigs but if you read carefully youwill find what he seeds his pastures with. Realize he is raising pigs so a chicken cannot always use what a pig uses -- but it got me to think out side the box.
    apple trees, choke cherrries, grapes, beets, peas, many types of grasses, amaranthe.

    My chickens loved eating the yellow squash but left the plant itself alone. THey stole grape tomatos off the tomato plants.

    Every state has a county extension agent-- look in the phone book-- make a phone call. Ask what varieties of legumes are good for yur growing area. THink of a way to have grasses all year round if possible.
     

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