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A chicken tractor is a portable chicken coop that lacks a floor. Chicken tractors may also house other kinds of birds. Most chicken tractors are lightly built A-frames which allow one person to drag about the yard. It may have wheels on one end to make moving it easier.
It has been said that the term chicken tractor comes from the chickens performing the many functions that are normally performed by farmers using modern day farm tractors. Tractors perform the task of turning the soil and removing weeds in preparation for planting crops and also fertilizing. In nature the chickens do this in their portable chicken tractor.
Chicken tractors allow chickens to free range along with shelter, allowing chickens fresh forage such as weeds grass and bugs which gives them a diverse diet and lowers the amount of bought feed that they need. Unlike fixed chicken coops, chicken tractors do not have built in or mesh floors so there is no need to clean them out regularly. Portable chicken coops allow the chickens to forage inside their coop and the birds eat down the grass and weeds turning it into rich fertilizing manure.
Using a chicken tractor for their flock, farmers can raise hens in an environment where their hens have access to fresh air and sunlight. They get to forage and exercise which caged hens in commercial chicken coops are not able to do. As you move your portable chicken coop onto another small area at any given time the ground has time to recover and you may find that more birds are able to be fed than if they were allowed to roam freely.
A chicken tractor also has some shelter built into it to give protection from predators and the weather. The hens lay their eggs in the built in nest boxes and are easy to collect. This saves time hunting for the eggs in the area surrounding the chicken coop. It pays to build a good quality chicken coop that will last and stand the rigours of being moved around.
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Related links and videos; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tractor, http://chickencoopsonline.com/diy-chicken-coop, http://youtu.be/APhxAmlPA3E, http://youtu.be/dTKYtRO21YI, http://youtu.be/PhM7MWB1tdU, http://youtu.be/asS6T4TFKVY, http://youtu.be/wDDTNlVGh8o, http://youtu.be/wRNkXbW0nSs,
You will find some great portable chicken coop plans which you can download and use to build a chicken tractor.