Putting your hens on wheels

We get a lot of questions about movable chicken coops, tractors and pull-pens. We guess a lot of people have watched the movie Food, Inc. and have been impressed by Joel Salatin’s movable poultry machines. If you’re one of those who has an itch to put your hens on wheels, we encourage you to check out the September-October issue of Chickens magazine.

We just received our copies at CLUCK and found the 13-page section on movable coops interesting and useful. It includes plans for building your own tractor and some dos and don’ts to keep in mind. (The issue isn’t on their website yet, just in hard copy.) Next time you’re in Paoli, you can also check out a tractor at CLUCK that is very similar to the one described in Chicken magazine.

A couple of things to keep in mind: What you see in Joel Salatin’s tractor are broilers, not laying hens. A broiler will be in the freezer before a layer produces her first egg, so Joel doesn’t have to worry about things like snow, freezing water or nest boxes. And, speaking of snow, it should be pretty obvious that you will also need a winter coop for your chickens. A tractor or pull-pen is strictly a summer solution.

Let us know if you do build a tractor; we’d love to see how you do it.