Allowing the chickens to free-range while in their shelter means that you’re able to provide them with fresh grass, weeds and microbes each time you move the tractor. At the same time, the chickens do some work for you, such as digging, weeding and fertilising – all the things that prepare and enhance the ground for food crops. For this reason, the coop’s name was a tongue-in-cheek expression coined by Bill Mollison, the [co-]father of permaculture. The idea comes from putting the chickens where they do the most good and where they are easiest to take care of in the garden.
- Reciprocal benefits – the chicken, the grower and the garden all benefit
- It’s appropriately scaled and practical (for as few or as many chickens as you think you can handle and as big or as small as you like)
- It prepares the soil for optimum yields of vegies and fruits with high nutritional value
- Humane way to raise poultry
- Chicken tractors have a positive global impact on how people reclaim land and produce their food, and can encourage local self-sufficiency
- Using chickens to biorecycle kitchen and yard ‘waste’
Salatin, J 1996, Pastured Poultry Profits, Polyface Incorporated, US.