High end Chicken Hilton tractor

Cena(S CA 10A)November 20, 2005

Divided nesting boxes.

8X4X2 tractor, light enough for me to move by my self, and place over parts of yard that need trimmed, work, or turning.

Nesting boxes, open for easy egg collection, and are seperate units, with their own fake avocado pit egg (its not really an egg, but chickens don' know that, and yes it IS a reall avocado pit, but chickens don't care and it LOOKS like an egg) to make them feel comfortable that some other 'chicken' saw fit to lay here...

What the other three hens look like.

All four hens checking out the digs, really, right there!

Their biggest worry to date...

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We have some friends that live out in the country and have one of these. So the chickens eat, bugs, aerate and enhance your soil-do they eat the grass too?

We have friends up north who also bring pigs into their garden area. The pigs eat all the end of the garden stuff then root around in the soil while"enhancing" it.

I think my life might be too short. I think I would just love rural life. But we've made our home in our small town. Life has just zoomed by and I don't think chickens or chicken tractors will be part of this life.

I just love your pictures and stories!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 12:13AM
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Cena(S CA 10A)

Yes, Diane. They DO eat grass too! I was amazed just how, um, trimmed and neatened (work with me here, ignore the big ole chicken land mines, and visualize the stripped, fluffed, and buffed soil). I had five places the small pen was moved this week. I swear, it looked like mini gardeners moved through, trimming, tidying. There was this bunch of parsley still growing... When I moved the 'tractor' the next day, I made sure to bypass the Next patch of parsley, as there was only one sad strand left of the previous!

I am expecting my first egg tomorrow, seems the Avo pit worked just fine to lure a poor unsuspecting hen, right in there, to do her business!

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 1:22AM
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What a pretty little group of girls you have there! I love the picture with the cat. How have the cat's reacted to the chickens and how have the chickens reacted to the cat's? I bet it has been fun at your house:) What are your plans for your first egg? Scrambled, over easy...an omlet perhaps?


    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 2:55AM
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That's a great setup! My chickens don't have aluminum or their choice of directions to go to select a nest box. Your girls have the Hilton; mine have Motel 6. They're ok, though. 9 mos of the year they get to go free-range during the day. If they get too enthusiastic about rearranging mulch in the flowerbeds, or checking out the roots on the Hostas, I send the dog to mix 'em up. She never chases them unless I tell her, "Get 'em out of there!" and then she does. (She's old enough that she doesn't over-do it.)
Chickens are indeed great for manufacturing quick compost! As long as there's no buildup in one spot, the "leavings" dry out and crumble into the ground pretty quickly.
Now pigs....UH-UH, no way!! They might be good garbage recyclers, but...
We've got some neighbors that used to (thank goodness for past tense) keep hogs, and they're very lax about keeping any of their livestock penned or fenced. (Nice enough people, but they never quite get around to doing the work that needs to be done.) Their piggies would get into our alfalfa field, and you almost wouldn't believe the damage they could do! They dig up sod looking for roots, worms and grubs--- unbelievable how strong those snouts are! They can just churn through roots and soil, and a few hogs can leave HUGE wallows (the size of a semi trailer) in a day. Not a good yard pet! (For those who aren't familiar with them-- that's why people used to pierce hogs' noses and give them nose rings-- it slowed their digging.) Anyway, they muck around and leave compacted, rough, nasty, destruction in their wake. -----------I'm not talking pot-bellied pigs here, but farm hogs like Yorkshires (in our neighbors' case) or Hampshires.
We got piglets in barter a couple times in years past. We have no place for them now. Penned, they're ok (stinky poop, but...) They're good garbage machines, but I'm not good with the idea of butchering them. I eat pork, but I can't have known the pig and fed it scraps :(

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 9:42AM
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Cena(S CA 10A)

These chickens are fearless, they grew up with two or more cats around, eating in the same location they did from hatching. They always had some big tough rooster to stomp cat butt if needed. Or they would just run one into the geese (now THOSE are mean birds!) who have whole personality disorders toward some of my moms managerie. The little grey dog is intensly disliked by one hen, and one of the geese. He certainly better move faster than they do!

I'm not a big pig fan, too many for-profit farms when I grew up. Lordy, how could one even live next door?!?! Then the property was worthless for up to 10 years after they left. It takes so long to get things to grow in that compacted, stripped, mudded out mess.

I hear turkeys are almost as bad, specifically the legume-sized brain that will allow them to drown in a rain storm.

Back to the cat, she is totally mesmerized and cannot figure out how to grab a snack.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2005 at 3:27PM
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