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New chicks for the chicken tractor; new skills for April

Since last night was probably the last freeze of the season, my daughter April and I put pullets in the new chicken tractor today. We've been keeping them inside under a heat lamp for the last three weeks since we got them from the breeder.

The photos illustrate the functionality of the tractor. It fits within the garden rows we've created. With the open bottom the chickens will eat all the weeds and scratch around for bugs, all the while dropping that high-nitrogen poop about that makes such good fertilizer. Every other day we'll move the tractor down the row one tractor length. Pretty soon they'll have the garden tilled up and ready to plant.

The mottled black and white chicken is an easter-egger and will lay pastel colored eggs in hues of green, blue, and pink. Regardless of the color, they'll be organic and good eatin'.

So April gets some practical education in localized food production as part of her home school curriculum. I hope these will be good skills that will prepare her for our changing world. [In addition to bow-hunting and computer hacking skills, says April, the Napolean Dynamite fan].

If you're handy with tools and want to build a chicken tractor just like this one, you can order plans online here.

Folks who don't have the time or skills to build their own and live within the metro Atlanta area can get a sturdy, hand-crafted chicken tractor like this for $450. You can even get it delivered for a small additional fee.

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Reader Comments (2)

Hi Burke,

I love how you set up your garden rows with the chicken tractor. It's been about a month since you posted this - are any of the beds ready for planting? Anxious to hear how things turn out...
Dawn -

Since this post we've decided to relocate intown. We want to do so by no later than summer so ambitious plantings won't happen this year in this particular garden. We have planted some tomatoes. It's a community garden, so future gardeners should benefit from heavily fertilized soil.

Thanks for your comments, Dawn!
May 13, 2009 | Registered CommenterBurke Sisco

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