Chicken Tractor: The Survival Gardening Classic That Still Revolutionizes Poultry Raising

Chicken Tractor, by Andy W Lee and Patricia L Foreman is the survival gardening classic that still revolutionizes poultry raising.

In case you’re not familiar with the chicken tractor, here’s the concept. It’s a bottomless, movable poultry pen. Many homesteaders and urban poultry raisers have built a chicken tractor to let their chickens eat bugs and weed seeds while fertilizing the soil in the yard or garden.

If you’re planning to raise chickens this year, get the book that gives you the info and ideas you need for having your own eggs and meat, and improve your soil at the same time.

Thousands of people have been helped by the chicken tractor book. And they don’t all do it exactly like the book says. Some have built their chicken tractor using PVC. Others have used metal. But this book has been their guide.

Here’s an excerpt of an article from the January/February 2011 issue of “Backwoods Home Magazine” that describes one family’s chicken tractor project. There’s a link below so you can read the whole article.

Build a chicken tractor

By Connie Rabun

In the beginning we had chickens…and no coop! Any homesteader knows that the number one rule is to always have your animal housing prepared before you invest in the animal. We knew the rule but we ignored it! We are still forging our way into mistakes and ignoring smart advice, and I reckon that is how we got started with our chickens. All of a sudden (or so it seemed) we had 30 layer chicks and no permanent place to put them. By the time they outgrew their box in the house, we knew we had to do something. I can’t stand to see an animal in a pen with no “natural” browse—just mud and yuck—so I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted in the way of a moveable coop for my chickens. Wonderful hubby and I set about in the scrap lumber pile on the farm and created a moveable brooder pen that could grow with the chicks until they were ready for a big pen. We were instantly “chicken-tractor” fans.

That was 10 years ago on 10 acres in Texas. We have now updated our homestead to an 80-acre farm here in the beautiful Missouri Ozarks and we are still chicken owners (among the milk cows, hogs, rabbits, wildlife, and seven children). However, we have never built the ideal chicken tractor until my homestead hubby said he would come up with something. I reminded him that it had to be where our ladies were free to browse, yet contained. They had to be protected from ground varmints and from flying predators. It would be nice if it had an egg checking door and was easy enough to move that the children could handle it and after “the look” that says “I love you” (he always gives me that look when I am trying to tell him how to do something) I left the planning up to him. What resulted is the first chicken tractor that we are really happy with.

Read the whole article here:

Excerpt used with permission of Backwoods Home Magazine. (541)247-8900.

To get Chicken Tractor for yourself, click on its title wherever you see it linked in this post. That opens a new window to the page where it’s featured, and you can order from there.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.