The Farmers-Shail & Sarah           

Our Models

Chicken Tractor

Comparison of models

Hoop House


Trials and Tribulations

Planned Improvements


Room for improvement


Changes/ Improvements we will make in the future (those that are not mentioned in the solutions for improving sustainability page)

  • No roosts in the chicken tractors. Roosts add too much weight and make the grass below the roosts harder to access. We will probably only have birds in the chicken tractors during the dry season to avoid forcing them to stand in puddles or keeping them close to ground if it floods.
  • Putting only two doors on the CT. Four doors adds too much weight.
  • Cheaper plastic roofing on the next CTs to reduce costs. I chose the more expensive roofing because it is supposed to be more UV resistant and last 10 or more years. At the time the sales rep told me the people tend to replace the cheap roofing every year or two. However, since then I have noticed the cheap roofing on many out buildings that are considerably older than 1 year and it doesn’t appear that the roofing has been replaced recently.
  • Bigger wheels on the Hoop House
  • A subfloor that moves with the HH for catching feces
  • Small  doors (1-3) on each side of the HH so that when we move the fencing for a new pasture enclosure, we can keep the HH in one place while opening a new entrance each day. This way the chickens will have a new entrance each day rather then every few days and will reduce the wear on the ground immediately outside the door.
  • Young birds and meat chickens will be in CTs only, while egg layers will be in the HH. Young birds are too small to be corralled by the electric fencing and they are too vulnerable to hawks.  CTs will be used to start egg layers and for the entire pasturing of meat birds. Due to the extra space and weight of nest boxes we will only use the HH, which is on wheels, for egg production.
  • Try Cornish cross, Cornish roaster, standard Cornish and Barred Rock varieties side by side to compare viability of each for meat production. We also want to try turkeys and geese. Geese can be raised on a diet that has a much higher percent grass(80-90%) making them a more sustainable meat product for our region. The challenge will be in creating a market for goose meat.
  • Make HH predator proof so fencing doesn’t have to go around it, which will give the chickens more forage area.