The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

chicken tractor threat level

chickens in a tractor

When I was taking a picture last week for an update to our chicken tractor hens I forgot to reset a bucket that was blocking a gap where the ground was uneven and they escaped to plunder the mulch in our garden.

We ended up chasing them back into the coop with the main flock, but the next day they clearly wanted back into their tractor of solitude.

Anna mentioned their laying ratio is higher than the main flock which we give supplemental light to.

Maybe the threat level of a few chickens in a tractor is lower than being in a flock with the freedom of free ranging in a forest?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Stress cam certainly affect egg production, but are you sure your free-rangers aren't caching eggs out in the woods? Mine will occasionally do that rather than return to the coop to lay.
Comment by doc Tue Dec 22 04:29:09 2015
I'm very curious about your findings. Supplemental lighting and free ranging would seem like the ideal setup. Please keep us posted with any further observations to the contrary.
Comment by Karen Tue Dec 22 13:09:18 2015

doc --- That's a good hypothesis. I need to leave them shut in for a day to check it out, but I was pretty sure I'd broken them of that bad habit. They may have backslid though....

Karen --- Well, part of it is that we've got a broody hen in the coop who isn't laying, which brings their productivity numbers down. If you count her out, they're giving me about 50% production, and the tractored girls more like 60%. Not too bad for either in the dead of winter.

Comment by anna Tue Dec 22 20:11:19 2015

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