The purpose of a chicken tractor is to provide shelter. It is portable and can be a part time or full time shelter for your chickens. It can be moved around the yard to supply the chickens with continual supply of fresh forage. This also allows you to distribute their compost around the yard.
Chicken tractors come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most people tend to make their own chicken tractors. There is no specific way in how to design the chicken tractor. This is up to the person building the coop. People can be very innovative and resourceful. I don’t think I have ever seen 2 chicken tractors that look the same.
Chickens are a great addition to anyone’s garden or farm. They are easy to care for and render many benefits. As they peck and scratch around the yard they cultivate the ground. They dispose of weeds and insects while they forage. They supply us with meat and eggs. And they freely fertilize the yard or garden with natural manure.
Chickens can also make great pets. If you take all these benefits and add a chicken tractor in the mix it amplifies all of these benefits. With a chicken tractor you can raise healthy free range chickens. The tractor makes it possible to provide the birds with varying food sources and clean living space. The tractor will keep the chickens from eating the plants that you don’t want them to eat and keep predators from eating them.
When you are ready to design your chicken tractor there are many options to consider. The most familiar option that most people go with is the closed top open bottom design. With this design the idea is to cover the chickens giving them a nice size area to peck and scratch and can still be protected when the sun goes down. If you were to build the chicken tractor with a roosting area and nesting boxes it could also be used as a full time living area.
There are a few more options when thinking about a chicken tractor. You could assemble a regular chicken coop with wheels and create a temporary area around the coop that gives the chickens access to forage.
Before you make your choice on which option is best for you, think about the following:
How many chickens will you need to house?
How much space do you have?
If you have little room and only plan on having a few chickens then an open bottom tractor on wheels is the best option. If you only had 2 or 3 chickens you would still be able to obtain the benefits of their foraging and fertilizing the area.
What is the purpose of your chickens?
Do you only want eggs and meat or do you want all the benefits that they can yield? If you plan on selling your eggs then you will likely have more than just a few chickens. You will then want a more permanent coop that accommodates easy rotation and grazing that will not take up a lot of your time moving them from one spot to another as they will clear the ground quickly of weeds and insects.
One of the advantages of building your own chicken tractor is that you can recycle old wood to build the coop. And this of course will also save you money. Look around your yard, garage and even your neighborhood for scrap wood. This will cut the cost substantially and of course recycling is always a good thing.
After you have rounded up these old scraps you can then begin to design the coop. Get creative and come up with a design that will take advantage of the scrap wood that you have collected.
Julie is a chicken fanatic that loves to share her insight and experiences. Visit her website at Chicken Tractor
Image from page 502 of “Florists’ review [microform]” (1912)
Title: Florists’ review [microform]
Year: 1912 (1910s)
Publisher: Chicago : Florists’ Pub. Co
Contributing Library: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Digitizing Sponsor: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Click here to view book online to see this illustration in context in a browseable online version of this book.
Text Appearing Before Image:
22 The Florists^ Review Jdnb 22. 1922 be operated by the power from one of these machines. They are far superior to a stationary gasoline engine, because with them one can take the power to the job instead of being compelled to bring the job to the power. The engine, however, is a little too light to do satis- factory work when attached to a field plow of the ordinary size. The item of depreciation of the ma- chine is small indeed if a little care is exercised, and a careful owner should receive the purchase price of the ma- chine many times over before he is re- quired to dispose of it as junk. There is nothing which deteriorates so rapidly as iron or steel, and once oxidation be- gins its destructive work, it is almost impossible to stop it. The only sure method of avoiding loss in this way is to i)revent the tool from rusting, which can be easily done in a few minutes if the machine is thoroughly cleaned, oiled, covered and stored away in a place where the moisture cannot attack it when not in use. Under these con- ditions a machine should last a good many years, with only the necessity of occasionally renewing parts as they wear out. Sales Plus. One drawback which has discouraged a more extensive use of these machines in the past has been the unwillingness or the inability of the manufacturers to stand back of their machines with serv- ice. Either the firms were unreliable or they did not realize the value of the follow-up sales system. Under these circumstances the florist or nurseryman had no assurance that if his machine broke down in the midst of a busy sea- son, he could get expert mechanics to help him out. Therefore, not being able to keep a horse for an emergency, nor being willing to do his work at the pleasure of the machine, he decided not to take a chance. If a stumbling block of this kind did exist in the past, it has now been en- tirely eliminated. Parts have been stan- dardized to a large extent, and the makers maintain supply and service sta- tions throughout the country in charge of men competent to handle any trouble with which the unskilled person may find himself confronted. This service is generally rendered at a nominal cost if, in truth, it is not done entirely free of charge. Instructions, in untechnical language, accompanied by diagrams, are furnished with each machine, explaining how, when and where to lubricate and the kinds of pil to use, together with all the information necessary to operate the machine. Who Makes Them? Garden tractors are not entirely a recent innovation, and some of them have been in operation in florists’ fields and nurseries for several years. These machines are making good, as will be indicated hereinafter. The Merry Garden Auto-Cultivator, made by the Atlantic Machine & Mfg. Co., Cleveland, O., is a machine which some florists have found particularly attractive. It is light, weighing only 28.5 pounds, and has a speed of about two miles per hour. The handles can be ad- justed up or down to accommodate any height of man or boy. The slots in the tool-holders allow a wide range of posi- tion of tools, and the transmission of power is effected by means of a train of case-hardened steel-cut gears with ratio of 1-30. The control is effected by means of a clutch. The machine mounts a 2-hor8epower Evinrude motor, which is equipped with a Bosch magneto. It straddles a 12-inch or wider row and will work between rows twenty-four inches or more apart. It can be turned around in a 34-inch circle. A number of florists have used the Merry Garden. "I have been using a Merry Garden Auto-Cultivator for two seasons with satisfactory re- sults. While it is rather light for plow- ing, it is an ideal machine for cultivat- ing. My 15-year-old boy has done the work," says J. M. Bassett, of Hammon- ton, N. J. "While we have had a little trouble with the machine from time to time, it almost invariably proved to be through some oversight of our own, due to inexperience with motors. We have cultivated from three to five acres with
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Ready to Cultivate Two Rows. it easily .and have kejit them more thoroughly worked than we used to with horse power.” Makes Turning Easy. The Gilson Mfg. Co., Port Washing- ton, Wis., makes the Bolens power hoe, the only machine with a differential, enabling the operator to turn the ma- chine at the end of the row with no more effort than the strength of one hand. It has a high arch, which permits it to work astride a row of plants fnurteeu to twenty inches tall without damage. The power is supplied by a 1 cylinder, air-cooled, gasoline-driven motor, and the gasoline consumption is ahout one gallon every ten hours. The sj)ecd is controlled by a thumb lever on the handle, which operates the throttle on the carburetor. The Bolens ni;ichino, with its high- arched axle, its tool control, its differen- tial drive, its easy regulation of specil and its snap hitches on all att.-ictiments, is an outfit especially adajited to floiists’ needs. It is designed for close (niltivation ;ni(l tlierefore li;is made triomls wlicrt’ florists have seen it ilenionstratcd. The Bolens power hoe was sliown at the national flower show, at Indian,’i|>(ilis last March. T’sers in the trade iiicludr the C. C. Pollworth Co. and Ilolton & Hunkel Co., Milwaukee, Wis.; Miles Co., Oshkosh, Wis.; J. A. Peterson & Sons, Cincinnati, O.; W. W. Horlacher, Bav- ton, O.; Fifth Avenue Floral Co.. fdlum- bus, O.; John Wiemann. Bnrlinttton, la.; Daut Bros., Decatur. Til.; Flick floral Co., Fort Wayne, Ind.; Baur & Steinkamp, Indianapolis, Ind.; Qray Floral Co., Chickasha, Okla.; Myers Floral Co., Bluffton, Ind., and Joseph Mahnke, Milwaukee, Wis. It is used by the city foresters of St. Paul and Mil- waukee, the forestry department of the Dominion of Canada and the horticul- tural department of the University of Wisconsin. Made in Minneapolis. In Minneapolis the Beeman Tractor Co. puts out a garden tractor called Beeman, Jr., which is simply a little power plant built into a traction ar- rangement and designed especially to handle garden tool attachments. The cultivator attachment will cultivate one, two or three rows at a time. It has clearance height of fourteen inches and clearance width of ten inches, which permits going astride or between the rows. A gasoline-driven, air-cooled motor furnishes power, and the machine is thrown into and out of action by a simple but positive belt-tightener, operated at the right-hand handle. One of the above-mentioned is found in use at the establishment of Luther Horlacher, Xenia, 0., and Mr. Horlacher says in regard to the operation of the machine: "For the last two seasons I have been using one of these garden tractors, finding it indispensable. As a cultivator, it is far superior to a horse. Much more cultivating and’ more- thorough work can be done than with a horse in a given time. Many times I have gone out into my field and .culti- vated an acre and one-half of 3-foot rows up and down twice after the even- ing meal. One can speed these tractors to suit himself, and there is no horse to tramp on the plants. One can turn from one row and go up the next without a minute’s loss of time. This tractor is under perfect control, and can be guided as close to the plants as one desires. My tractor has been absolutely dependable at all times, not giving any mechanical trouble and always being ready for use. The Beeman Co. correctly advertises its useful tractor to take the place of a horse. In my experience, how- ever, T have seldom seen one horse do the kind of plowing on our Ohio soil that a good grower should want on his land year after year. It takes a good team to do deep, thorough plowing, which is essential to maximum results." Walking and Biding Type. At Indianapolis, Ind., is made a ma- chine called the Utilitor, of which there are two models, one a walking type and one a riding type. The latter will do even heavier work than that of the florist. This machine will plow, harrow, pulverize, plant, cultivate, mow lawns, drag roads, do belt work to four hnrse- jiower and many of those things which lieretofore have been done with the horse or mule. It is made by the Mid- west Engine Co. The front frame can 1)0 adjusted for cither narrow or w’de- row cultivation. "On fairly level, solid ground the Utilitor does fine work and has an abundance of power. It turns to the right or left on its own power and can be kept going much more steadily than a horse," says Nixon H. Gano, proprietor of the Martinsville Floral Co., Martinsville, Ind. "In fact, if a man keeps it going to capacity all day, he will know that he has done a full day’s work. We use ours for plow-
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John Deere RX75 Riding Mower/Tractor
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