If you have thought about raising chickens, but were concerned about how to start and where to store them, stop worrying. The chicken “tractor” is an easy tool to help maximize your ability to protect and move your chickens while simultaneously caring for your garden or property. Caring for chickens isn’t so tough- humankind has been domesticating animals for thousands of years. The small but mighty chicken is one of the best examples of an animal that co-exists with humans for mutual benefit. The byproduct of this relationship results in positive impacts on the environment as well.

Keeping chickens in your backyard or other location on your property can yields multiple benefits, namely; eggs, natural fertilizer and insect repellant. Keeping chickens as pets is pleasurable, especially for children. Also, if you eat meat and want an ethical, low cost and healthy source of protein, your older chickens can also be butchered- although as possibly sad and intimidating process, it is a far superior alternative than buying caged chickens and supporting an abusive factory farm with your money.

Start by putting a chicken tractor or a few chicken runs right outside in the backyard. What can be more convenient and more cost efficient than running a miniature farm that can provide you eggs and weed and fertilize your lawn, and only a few feet away from the back door. Is that pure genius or what?

A chicken tractor with nesting area in the back. Southward Sense © by Egan Snow

Hens or chickens are placed inside the tractor about 4 or 5 at a time. The larger tractors can hold at least 12 chickens at once. This little egg hatching room is perfect for anyone who wants to break into the egg producing business, or anyone who just want to produce eggs for their own personal gain. Whatever, the reason may be there is always opportunities to increase one revenue. Just imagine having fresh eggs every morning for breakfast and an omelet for lunch. If someone in the house likes to bake fresh pies and cakes, eggs will definitely not be a problem.

Some tractor designs have an upstairs and downstairs area where you can leave food and water for your moneymakers. The tractor is portable and can be move from one spot to the next, by lifting it by the handles or pushing it. Most models have wheels for easy transporting. Hens and chickens are given protection year round from rain, flood, and stormy conditions. They can continue to produce eggs without any interruptions. These tractors are well ventilated, so they are exposed to fresh air constantly. During extremely cold weather, the vents can be closed off to prevent the chickens from freezing.

An easy, affordable DIY chicken tractor. Chicken Tractor © by RichieN

A side gate on your fancy tractor would allow the chickens to come in and out, as you will allow. The gate is open during the daytime and close during the nightfall to keep them safe from animals they may fall prey to- like cats. The cost of these chicken tractors pays for themselves by the return of eggs you get, from insect control and the natural phosphoric fertilizer.

The mini versions of a duplex chicken tractor cost around or under $800 and the larger one costs a little more than $1200.  The cheapest way to own a chicken run is to build your own. These can be very simple, yet highly effective tools made easily with some PCP pipe and some chicken wire. When using your creativity there are no limits to the type of chicken tractor you can design or you may get inspiration from a pre-designed pattern.