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backyard farmer: movable chicken coop idea

 
Dread Pirate Roberts
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User ID: 962131
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05/06/2010 06:32 AM
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backyard farmer: movable chicken coop idea
this was an article I found in a newspaper this morning. Apparently, more and more people want chickens to supplement food and to help with gardens. This article is about a local guy who made a movable coop, which are getting so popular, he is constantly selling out. They are small enough so that people with small lots could use them, and also renters because the structure isn't permanent. Photos at link, and they do look easy enough so anyone can make them. Just another idea to help us all who are looking for ways to, you know, survive...

I have to go to work but I'll check on the thread later today. Have a good day everyone

[link to www.onlineathens.com]

Backyard farmers flock to a new twist on the chicken coop

After years of wanting chickens, Comer resident Laura Osborne bought a chicken tractor a few weeks ago. She first saw one of the movable coops at a bird auction, she said, and immediately recognized why it would be convenient. "I can easily move them around," she said. "It's a super easy way to have them and not worry about them getting hurt." The chickens also eat bugs and fertilize her garden with their litter, Osborne said. "They cut down a lot on the insects and actually, I move (the chicken tractor) around my garden right now for that purpose," she said.

Osborne's movable chicken coop is a part of a growing trend here and across the country as people start to use chickens as part of the backyard ecosystem. Jason Maxwell, Chris Gibson and Chris Wade made Osborne's chicken tractor and dozen like it. They sell the tractors - usually priced around $150 to $200 - from the side of U.S. Highway 441 just inside the Nicholson city limits, and say they regularly run out of coops. "We did not foresee the amount of people who were looking for them," Maxwell said. "People wanted chickens in their backyards."

The popularity of the chicken tractors is a sign people want to know where their food comes from, and are interested in natural ways to keep their garden healthy without pesticides and chemical fertilizers, he said. Most of the tractors they sell go to urban or suburban backyards, Maxwell said. Athens-Clarke County bans chickens in single-family neighborhoods, but there are some, less urban places where it's legal, said Commissioner Kelly Girtz. He proposed changing the law in 2008 to allow some city chickens, but strong opposition on the commission meant his proposal didn't get very far. "I'm certainly going to be bringing it up in the future," he said.

Some city residents really like keeping a chicken and think the mobile coop is a good match, Maxwell said. The three men started making chicken tractors about a month ago to make a little extra money in the sluggish economy. Wade lost his job working on tractor trailers because of a lack of business and while Maxwell, a decorative concrete finisher, and Gibson, a carpenter, still have jobs, they say they have less work than usual. Besides the extra income, all three men said their children are enjoying taking care of their chickens.

They also enjoy the fresh eggs and the ability to supplement food from the supermarket with cheaper, fresh garden food, fertilized by their chickens. The chicken tractor is an exciting new experiment for her, said Rene Russo, who lives in Athens off Barnett Shoals Road. She enjoyed the fresh eggs from a friend's chickens and then her daughter began asking for a pet, she said. Russo saw the chicken tractors for sale on the side of the highway as she drove to work one day. "I wasn't really seriously thinking I would wind up with chickens until I saw the chicken tractor," she said.

Last Edited by Dread Pirate Roberts on 05/06/2010 06:33 AM
"From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 4:17
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 633653
New Zealand
05/06/2010 07:07 AM
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Re: backyard farmer: movable chicken coop idea
looks too flimsy to me.. plus seems overly expensive.

you could build one with a more weather proof area
for the chooks to roost or nest in and more
dog cat rat proof for less money.

might suit bantam hens as they are smaller and often
good layers but again you need netting underneath or
need to anchor the chicken coop in place
to deter predators.
Dread Pirate Roberts (OP)

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05/06/2010 06:43 PM
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Re: backyard farmer: movable chicken coop idea
thanks New Zealand AC. I'd like to get some ideas from this and also some perspective since I have no experience in this area. Thanks again for your comments.
"From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 4:17
Dread Pirate Roberts (OP)

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05/06/2010 10:35 PM
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Re: backyard farmer: movable chicken coop idea
the guy at the chicken coop company said of the photo depicted in the article, "The tractor in the paper was more for day use. We have permanent tractors that have predator resistant boxes. This box is really an answer to the people who want a free range egg without the range."
"From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 4:17
_SATAN_

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05/06/2010 10:38 PM
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Re: backyard farmer: movable chicken coop idea
where better than to be home on the range without having all the drama of the range? Perfect place to lay an egg.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 959361
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05/06/2010 11:05 PM
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Re: backyard farmer: movable chicken coop idea
looks too flimsy to me.. plus seems overly expensive.

you could build one with a more weather proof area
for the chooks to roost or nest in and more
dog cat rat proof for less money.

might suit bantam hens as they are smaller and often
good layers but again you need netting underneath or
need to anchor the chicken coop in place
to deter predators.

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 633653


I agree with the AC - it's a cool idea, but between the coons, dogs and black snakes here in the south east I don't think it'd last a night.

I would like to get chickens again, I loved the eggs.
Chicken Lover
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05/06/2010 11:20 PM
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Re: backyard farmer: movable chicken coop idea
NO WAY would I put my chickens in that thing! You could MAYBE get two regular size hens in there, or 3/4 Bantams, but their eggs are fairly small...

And I wouldn't leave them in that all day! They'd go crazy!

A full grown chicken/hen needs that amount of space just to herself...anything smaller, or with a roommate and you begin to have pecking problems...seriously.

We have 14 chickens, and a 4x6x10 coop, with three nest boxes, a floor full of straw (about 2 feet), with a walk in door, and a side door plus ramp for them to come out, and a window that faces east and opens for ventilation. It is above the ground, and their is wire mesh underneath it, secured, plus the coop is enclosed in a large covered run about 14 x 8 x 12, all chicken wire, and staked into the ground with the chicken wire extending out from the ground about 8 inches. Where we live we have raccoons, skunks, foxes, and who knows what else cruising around at night.

I couldn't bear the idea of getting up in the morning to a missing or dead and mutilated chicken, so they're very secure. We raised them all from day old, they each have names and respond to us when we call out to them. They are very curious and we let them out to free range when we are outside or can just sit and watch them, as we have hawks in the area as well...plus wild turkeys.

Chickens are awesome and the eggs are just wonderful. Be sure that you give them oyster shell to keep their eggshells hard, and there is also an electolyte powdered solution which is good to give them during hot weather, and any time they are under stress, like when they are molting.

Chickens are the Best! We have two Roosters too, but they seem to get along most of the time, and have their "girls" and don't fight over who belongs to whom.

YaY for Chickens!
Anonymous Coward
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United States
05/07/2010 12:55 AM
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Re: backyard farmer: movable chicken coop idea
[link to home.centurytel.net]
Chicken Tractor Gallery
The City Chicken
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 960208
United States
05/07/2010 01:02 AM
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Re: backyard farmer: movable chicken coop idea
[link to home.centurytel.net]
Chicken Tractor Gallery
The City Chicken
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 957148




wink
Dread Pirate Roberts (OP)

User ID: 962131
United States
05/07/2010 09:22 PM
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Re: backyard farmer: movable chicken coop idea
thanks, guys, for all your good comments. I'm learning a lot. Love that chicken tractor website!
"From that time Jesus began to preach and say, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Matthew 4:17
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 576059
United States
05/08/2010 12:03 AM
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Re: backyard farmer: movable chicken coop idea
[link to home.centurytel.net]
Chicken Tractor Gallery
The City Chicken




wink
 Quoting: acadian

Now ~that's~ a good site! Lots of ideas of some really nice mobile coops!

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