Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Tractors

The chicken tractors are done. After thinking that building them would take a week or two at the most, I find myself having worked on them over the course of six or more weeks. I somehow finally see how such projects can with ease eat up large chunks of time. Now, with the summer giving up her fight, I somewhat thankfully return to a more scholarly oriented schedule made possible by the completed construction of the Ecotone Flerd. As you can see, I freecycled some old billboard material, which is UV resistant and very easy to work with, to cover the tractors. As it turns out, we got an old Verizon ad, and the hens can now have their gods.
Many thanks go out to all those who helped put them together: John, Mary, Christina, and, above all, Jen, whose patience and support in my strange habits of constructing things (or not), put up with so many birds so close to the house for so long. The chickens are now behind the electric netting - though old habits die hard, and many fly over the 4-foot hot netting to roost in the trees between the brooder and the barn. But for the last week it's been raining off and on, and I think I'm beginning to notice an increase in the use of the tractors over night.

All said and done, I think these are over built. To be sure, if all the birds actually got in them when it rained or even slept in them at night, there would be very little that could get them. These are tight, solid structures. But we don't seem to be under particularly heavy predator pressure, nor do the turkeys seem to notice the inclement weather so that the shelter the tractor provides is a noticeably appreciable good. They're heavy, too, and I'm already thinking of their animal-powered motion. In the meantime, and for the first time, they're alright. I'm glad their done. And just in time.

1 comment:

  1. I like that you acknowledge that I played a role, but that the only picture there is to suggest I was anywhere near those portable barns is from the day where I categorically refused to do anything other than sit in a chair and whine about being hungover. I also love that some of the chickens sleep beside a giant picture of Dom.