Joel Salatin Chicken Tractor Snow Operations #gardening


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Required chicken equipment during the winters (for daughters)

Does the Joel Salatin chicken tractor keep chickens warm enough to stay live during the early winter months when there is snow on the ground?  I completed a limited test.  I ordered a late batch of chicks in the winter from Murray McMurray Hatchery which arrived on 14SEP2017. Most of these poor chicks died before they were received.

Apparently, the reason they died was that they were exposed to the chilly September during shipment. That is something I did not expect. Simply because it is cold, and these are shipped using normal government postal system, sometimes the baby chicks are exposed to temperatures which will kill them. It was heartbreaking and annoying. Murray McMurray Hatchery said they would replace the entire order as only two chicks made it 48 hours once they were received.

Anyway, since I had only two chicks that made it (one other died), I decided to try some things out. Was it smart to even try to run a crop of chickens so late in the year? After keeping the chicks in the shop for three weeks, one week longer than normal for me under the heat lamp, I transferred them outside into the chicken tractor.  I kept them inside for a full three weeks to make sure they were fully feathered.  I wanted to know how long I could keep them outside in colder weather.  An unexpected snow storm blew threw and I decided to see how the chickens would do when they was  snow on the ground outside.

Chicken tractor under early snow in NOV2017

With only two chickens they kept each other warm through November and into December when we had several snow falls. Night temperatures fell to the lowest of 15 F. The average low was 30 F. The weather reports say that there were 3.35 inches of precipitation in NOV2017 and another 2.82 inches in DEC2017, but as you see by the pictures, I took there sure seem like a lot more snow on the ground. This test demonstrates that you may be able to run the Joel Salatin chicken tractor into early winter when there is snow on the ground.

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