Kevin Costner built a baseball diamond. Mark Baker is building chicken tractors. This is what a field of 27 tractors filled with about 2000 chickens looks like. It’s a lot of chickens, make no mistake. Mark commented this week, “We aren’t in Kansas anymore.” Some of those Munchkins would be helpful around here, but we’re making it with our own labor force plus a few other helpers. This week the processing starts as we begin harvesting the larger groups. The calves and dairy goats play a big role in keeping the grass eaten down in front of the chickens. The birds aren’t as efficient on grass longer than 6 inches, and the grazers shouldn’t graze the grass lower than 6 inches. It’s a good system.
Joe has developed the “half pint” chicken tractor. It is a half size version of the field tractors we use. It is for sale. He equips it with an automatic waterer that you hook up to your garden hose and includes a wooden trough feeder. It will hold 20-30 broiler chickens. Keith, our 6 year old, can move it, so it’s not extremely heavy. When you’re done, the tarp rolls up on one side so that next year everything will be ready to use again. Joe can custom build the tractor smaller, too, to accommodate the space and number of birds you have. He’s working on an adaptation for layer hens that will have the nesting boxes in the back for easy access. The kits come fully equiped and ready to use. We can supply broiler chicks as well. Contact Joe at 231-825-0293 if he can help you get started raising your own pastured poultry.