What is a chicken tractor? Only the very best way to keep your lawn and garden healthy, bug free and fertilized without harmful chemicals, heavy machines, or backbreaking work.
The book, Chicken Tractor, goes into great detail of, not only the enormous benefits of using your chickens in controlled rotation to improve the health of your property, but also how to schedule the rotations, and build the actual containment used.
Chicken tractors are also the next best thing to total free-range. You get to feed your chickens the healthy, non-commercial, non-chemically-treated feed way, but still keep them safe from predators. Free-ranging chickens also present a unique problem for chicken owners who want to benefit from the eggs. Often chickens will choose very inconvenient places to lay their eggs, even when given a lovely barn to go to. Free range can turn every day into a very interesting Easter egg hunt. The chicken tractor gives you free range benefits while keeping your egg layers in place, so the eggs are easy to find, and your chickens roost in a safe environment.
Chicken Tractor, written by Andy Lee and published by Good Earth Publications, is 215 pages packed with information to make your back-to-basics lifestyle more efficient. Chickens are one of the best, all around animals to have on a small homestead, and this is just one more way to use these versatile creatures.
At the very front of this interesting and entertaining book is a foreword by Howard W. “Bud” Kerr, Jr. the former director of the office for small-scale agriculture with the USDA. Mr. Kerr explains how well chickens enrich the soil they are housed on, and how rotating chickens around your property benefits both chicken and ground.
Chapter one of Chicken Tractor goes into details about the pros and cons of both chicken tractors, confined chicken housing, and complete free range.
Chapter two explains the system of the chicken tractor, and the different ways you can incorporate the ideas into your lifestyle the best way to suit your property. It includes rotational gardening, deep mulch, sheet mulch, intensive grazing, using poultry with cattle, and the true chicken tractor: hens on wheels.
Chapter three talks about the different ways to build a chicken tractor to make it easy to move, while also containing the proper elements for good chicken care.
Chapter four reveals the best breeds of chickens to use for a chicken tractor, and how to select the right birds for your family’s needs.
Chapter five examines some of the rare breeds and breeds close to extinction, as well as old-fashioned breeds that were once very popular on American homesteads, and what made them so useful compared to today’s chickens.
Chapter six is very helpful for anyone who has never raised chickens before and is just starting to get flocks for meat, eggs, and ground care. It includes the basics on housing, feeding, and general health issues of chickens.
Chapter seven is all about the best ways to feed your chickens organically and from feeds you can find or grow right in your own yard. For the back-to-basics homesteader, that is very important for two reasons: dependency and safety. First because you don’t have to be dependent on a store to buy food for the animals meant to feed you. Secondly, organic food lets you feed them chemically-free, pure food that gives you the satisfaction of health and safety for your family.
Chapter eight goes over common diseases you may run into with your flocks.
Chapter nine shows how to combat everyday predators like foxes, coyotes, hawks and other birds, and even mice.
Chapter ten is all about the ground and how chicken tractors can improve your soil, build up bad soil, and how you can enjoy true no-till gardening to protect the environment and your food source.
Chapter eleven goes into how to market organic chickens and eggs you raise from your chicken tractor.
Chapter twelve talks about processing your own chickens for meat.
Chapter thirteen and fourteen handle the issue of raising chickens in a humane environment, and how to keep your chickens happy and healthy in the chicken tractor.
Chapter fifteen has added information on other animals you can use to ‘tractor’ your ground.
Chicken Tractor is one of the most useful books a small homestead can use. It reveals a method of chicken care that few really think about, and miss out on when it comes to a powerful advantage to owning chickens.