Tommie Hockett

Welding up a new chicken tractor

Recommended Posts

Following the bill board thought. We can have all the campaign signs we want to pick up after an election and they take the weather well. I have a couple that have been around since the late 70s and they've faded some. The best thing about campaign signs is they're corrugated plastic (like a cardboard box) stapled to a sheet of plywood and the candidates never seem to pick them up after the elections. 

Better still you get attaboys for cleaning up the litter! Yeah, campaign signs are litter. . . as soon as they're put up!<_<

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since the title of this thread is about welding a chicken tractor. I feel obligated to ask what exactly is the benefit of having a mobil home for the yard bird ? I ask out of ignorance having never had chickens before. This is my daughters project and I want it to succeed . We had planned on buying chicks and keeping them caged for 6 months or so. Once they knew where home was we were going to let them roam , yard bird style , then pen them at night so they don't become snacks.

I fix things ,build things, weld things, make things and am trying to learn to forge things. Grow things and raise animals are not in my current skill set. I probably need to add raising animals to my skill set because I mostly don't want to eat what food eats.  Grains good vegetables not so much 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IIRC Tommie said he moves them to keep them from doing too much damage to the grass scratching or pooping in one place too long. I could have that wrong but I THINK that's the idea. 

Don't chickens eat grain? Bugs too of course but isn't chicken feed mostly grain? 

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they have a permeant home of course the grass will die. My question is more related to why not let them have a stationary home and let them roam during the day ?

David

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know what predation is like in Tommie's neighborhood. Around here Goshawks and feral cats would establish a colony and get fat.

 Every region is different. You might want to ask locals how they manage chickens and such. 

Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here we don't have much predator action during the day. Tommie is in Texas a few hours from me. So his predators shouldn't be to much different. I know a few people that let their chicken roam during the day with out issue. Im just curios about the pros and cons.

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The 2x4 grid panels are horse panels, they come in up to 6x20. Like I said, the cost of poultry netting over cattle panel is more expensive (4x16 horse panel is over $55 wile cattle panel is $18) not sure how the plastic mesh will hold up but 1/2 hardware cloth 2 foot wide would work.

Oklahoma has dogs, cats, possums; coons, foxes, coyotes, hawks, eagals and methheads...  

I keep a warry 1/2 banny rooster and plenty of Ariel cover plus the two acres is sheep fenced. Don’t loose hens to often and the Aussie Shepard’s keep any other predators at bay. 

As to chicken feed, last I herd factory fed chicken wasn’t any better for you than feed lot beef, feed your food junk and end up eating junk. So pasture fed chicken and eggs are much better for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

 

As to chicken feed, last I herd factory fed chicken wasn’t any better for you than feed lot beef, feed your food junk and end up eating junk. So pasture fed chicken and eggs are much better for you.

That is it exactly. No too much ofa problem with predators it is more of a regenerative farming mind set. If you let them free range they will always have their favorite dust bath hole and their favorite scratching hole and so on. Keeping them in the tractor ensures that they get fresh grass and bugs every day plus I get to determine where I want the fertilizer at. And just by the way yard birds love porches. They reallly like to poop on them haha that is another reason why tractor is a better setup than free range. If you have a minute to do some studying you should look up Joel Salatin or John Suskovich. Oh and maybe Grady Pheelan he doesn't live to far from us in Texas. He makes a thing called a praire schooner. Think chicken tractor but massive I think it holds like 6 or 8 hundred birds but that is broilers. We plan to start up a pastured broiler operation in the spring using a modified salatin tractor

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You are so right about them loving the porch. I can't do the chicken tractor due to having all hilly and uneven ground. Finally had to really pen them up with extra tall fence. My next step is to make a divided enclosure so i can let one heal and grow back while they use the other. Then switch.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Broilers are a pain. I lost about 25% to contest I’ve heart failer. Every time they got exited one would start to seize. I salvaged most buy dressing them when they did. Their chest cavity would be full of fluid. So I might suggest not use Cornish crosses.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've never tried the cornishx but any dual purpose bird works good for eating. Best fried chicken I ever had.

Tommie - I would love to drive there if it wasn't so far. I don't get very far from the barn nowadays. I'd love to see your farm.

Maybe one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Das, my dad and I are working on a day range system for his birds. He doesn't do the tractors either but his is a time constraint.

Charles, we are probably going to try some of the cornish cross but the ones I really want to try are the transylvanian naked necks. They are supposed to be some of the best tasting chicken in the world. They grow out a bit slower but if they live up to their reputation... poor word choice :rolleyes: then 12 weeks will be worth it

Look forward to showing you around Randy. I'm the same way. Once I get home from work I hate leaving the house to go anywhere.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/26/2019 at 7:39 PM, Frosty said:

I don't know what predation is like in Tommie's neighborhood. Around here Goshawks and feral cats would establish a colony and get fat.

Here in my part of the bluegrass state we have coyotes, fox, racoons,possums, red tail hawks, turkey vultures, bald eagles have moved back along the Ohio and Licking Rivers, peregrine falcons, feral dogs and cats, and an occasional bobcat. This is in town, I guess it may not be as bad out in the farms due to the concentration of food in town but I don't know for sure I'm just speculating. Little dogs have been getting preyed upon if not watched closely. I'm not sure what is getting them. Probably coyotes. I see coyotes all the time. One was walking down the sidewalk the other morning at about 3am. It was pretty startled when it seen me.  The KY dept of wildlife resources did a study on the coyotes a few years back and most had some percentage of wolf DNA from the population in Wisconsin. It was pretty surprising.

Pnut

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.