I don't remember when I first heard about chook tractors but it was quite a few years ago. The name suggests that they are an Aussie invention, which sounds about right. It's a blend of lazy gardener meets genius inventor. I think they may have come out of the permaculture movement.
So what is a chook tractor?
Put simply they are a movable chicken coop with no floor. This allows the chickens to work over your garden beds without getting into your new seedlings. The chooks get busy removing weeds, seeds, and insects while they fertilize and work the soil. Meanwhile you can sit back and let them do the work and collect some organic eggs as a bonus.
The basic design is a simple A frame covered in chicken wire with an enclosed coop at one end with nesting boxes and a roost. You can either have handles to pick it up and move it or you can fit wheels to one end to make that job easier. The size is up to you, as long as there is enough room for the chickens inside to be comfortable, a feeder, a water bowl and some shade in hot weather will keep your chooks happy and producing eggs for you.
Making a chook tractor or two can be a great oppurtunity to re-use some waste materials and it seems to bring out the creative side in some people.
So why not have a go at making your own chook tractor? It's so easy, it's child's play.