I just joined! I have been reading and watching a lot about permaculture and similar things. I am wanting to do gardening and chicken raising, etc. differently. I have a lot of questions, but I hope I can start with this for now..
First, I want to get chickens again. I had them a few years back but they were killed so often I finally gave up. They had a covered run, but still something was eating them. We have a high predator area. I am seeing a lot of good chicken tractors, but I have serious concerns about whether a chicken tractor will protect chickens from predators?
I really want to use a chicken tractor design. I want to be able to move it over the gardens and lawn and fields, to both improve those areas and give them more good things to eat.
I'm thinking, at least for starting, I would not let them out to free range at all, but I would move it, probably daily, so they still got a lot of good grass and bugs and things. I do want the chicken tractor type for laying hens, with nest boxes. And preferably something that is warm enough that I can use year round (average low here in January is 30).
1. Does anyone have any recommendations for using chicken tractors in a high-predator area? Will it work? I think the biggest concern will be predators slipping under the tractor. Since the ground isn't always flat, this is a particular concern.
2. Any recommended designs for a good predator-proof, warm, nesting box enabled chicken tractor? Probably will only start with 4-8 chickens. If this goes well, I might try a larger set up a la Joel Salatin.