• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Putting the Chicken to it's Duties

 
Nick Kitchener
Posts: 464
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I thought we could have a place to discuss ways in which chickens natural behaviours can be used to perform work on the farm.

Chicken tractoring is one such example, and following cattle with poultry to disperse manure and break pest cycles is another.

Are there any other jobs that chickens do well?

I was contemplating the winter barn today and was wondering...

Chickens will scratch and dig, and if the coup is on a slope, they will move the bedding downhill.

Let's say a winter barn is constructed with a slight slope, or an undulating floor, and chickens are free to roam, are they likely to move the soiled bedding into the low points?

Would chickens have enough moving capacity so that all the farmer needs to do is spread fresh bedding, and collect the soiled bedding from the low points in the barn?
 
wayne fajkus
Posts: 440
2
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
If let out of the confines of the tractor, they get after the grasshoppers. They return to the tractor at sundown.

That's an important function for me.
 
wayne fajkus
Posts: 440
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I ran my chicken tractor on contour at the high end of the slope with the reasoning that rain would carry the nutrients down the hill.
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1311
Location: Central New Jersey
36
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You might want to look at what Salatin does with his chickens in the winter.
 
Joseph Lewis
Posts: 21
Location: NE Missouri
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
They are good engines for row crop cultivators.





They are also great to have in a large tractor and move around the garden all winter to have it fertilized and ready to go in the spring.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
69
bee books chicken forest garden fungi trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have a brick patio that tends to get overrun with weeds, especially at the edges. I've trained my chickens to follow me and I lead them over to the patio, sprinkling yummy seeds into the patio weeds. They scratch it up pretty well looking for the seeds.
 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
Posts: 1253
Location: Maine (zone 5)
65
forest garden hugelkultur
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
All of my land is sloped so as the chickens clear the land they rake the dead grass downhill. This means that the fence line on the lower part of the paddock collects seed free, pest free, fertilized shredded mulch. All I have to do is rake it up and throw it around the forest garden areas. I have a constant supply through the season as the chickens move from one paddock to the next. When I have garden scraps and kitchen waste, I add it at the highest point in the paddock.

The coop is also set up so that one side of it is up off of the ground by about a foot. The coop has no floor so all the night manure gets kicked down hill and out of the coop without me having to mess with it. I just throw in a little dried grass and wood chips from time to time to encourage them to keep the material moving through.

In the fall they go to work in the gardens clearing weeds, seeds and pests.

Cars will tend to slow down if your chickens are ranging near the road. Beware: Dumb chickens might not get out of the way of a car.



 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic