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The Chicken Tractor: A Tribute to Andy Lee

The following appeared as a sidebar to my article “Designing a Pasture Shelter,” in the August/September 2007 issue of Backyard Poultry Magazine.

Pasture-shelter-chicken-tractor-garden

Chicken Tractor
on Garden Bed

Pasture-shelter-chicken-tractor-lids

Hinged Lids

It was Andy Lee’s book Chicken Tractor which more than any other source introduced the idea of keeping micro-flocks in small, mobile pens to provide a more wholesome, more contented life for the birds, and of “putting them to work.” Many such shelters are sized specifically to fit the owner’s garden bed width. Small flocks in chicken tractors (or as I like to call them, “chicken cruisers”) can till up new ground for garden, till in cover crops or heavy weed growth, and help with control of slugs and snails. In the process, they forage nutrient-dense foods such as earthworms, grubs, and slugs—a big gain in dietary quality.

Pasture-shelter-halfway

Halfway Shelter

Pasture-shelter-2boypower

2Boypower Shelter

Pasture-shelter-creep-feeder

Creep Feeder