A chicken tractor is basically a coop on wheels. This handy-dandy concept is not new, but it sure is useful to homesteaders like me. I'm sure there are commercial models available, but we made ours from some scrap lumber, extra chicken wire, and some salvaged metal panels.
It's obviously homemade, but it works great!
Usually when it comes to raising chicks, I like to hatch out some from my own adult breeding stock. However, since Cornish Cross genetics are closely guarded by a select group of breeders who are the only mortals privy to the exact genetic codes used to create this poultry line,
I have to purchase the chicks.
Oh well, that just means I get to make a trip to the hatchery.
On a side note, I find these mysterious Cornish Cross breeders fascinating. In my mind I envision a secret society who holds elusive meetings in revolving locations, and who's leaders dress in feathered robes and greet one another with secret handshakes and cackling chants. The meetings are filled with enshrouded followers in beak-like masks pledging their life-long loyalty to the group by crowing like a rooster, pecking like a hen, and occasionally laying an egg.
I could go on, but I won't. At least now you know what it's like in my head.
Did you just roll your eyes??!! I saw that.
This is how the freshly-hatched chicks look when I pick them up at the hatchery. The chicks are cozy and cute in their wood chip-filled box, and they're surprisingly content. And then I go and disrupt them...
A week or two later, when the chicks have doubled in size and have some feathers growing in, I move them out to the chicken tractor.
I don't blame them.
He just grabs the rope that's attached to the front and gives it a yank, and the wheels start rolling. He moves it forward slowly, giving the chickens inside time to move with the pen.
I actually think his technique works. It seems to keep them on their toes, and we haven't had any casualties so far.