Our broilers are moving along here at the La Hacienda del Norte. The chickens have lived through 45 degrees in this pen, and temperatures as high as 87 degrees during the day. We have had a couple of rain and wind storms, which seems to suggest it it “rugged enough.” We are doing our best to move them daily, but sometimes they sit in an area for 2 or 3 days. This happens if I am out of town, or the kids do not get to all of their chores. Because we built our chicken tractor very light and small, my 15-year-old daughter can move the 9 x 6 poultry 2″ x 2″ pen. My 11-year-old boy cannot move it yet by himself, and sometimes we do not move it when we want. I am not that mad if we skip a day or two, life happens. However, the results are amazing.
The difference in the destruction of the ground cover if they are moved every day, or over three days is incredible. Here are photos of the ground where the broiler chickens sat for three days and another shot where they were sat for only one day. In 3 days the chickens move the ground from grass to mud. It is very amazing. Also, remember this poultry pen is designed for 30 chickens, and we only have 24. Thus the damage to the ground would be significantly more if we had not lost so many chickens in the brooder.
We are also using a lot less food for these chickens apparently. We take away the feed at night as a chore on our little homestead. We have found the chickens move around a lot better and hunt and peck better.