What Is a Chicken Tractor?

Photo of Kassandra Smith

Kassandra Smith

Senior Editor • Backyard Chicken Coops

23 June 2014

Unfortunately they aren't farming vehicles that can be operated by poultry. That would be pretty cool.

A chicken tractor is a mobile coop that comes with wheels, skids or other accessories that make them easy to cart around. They aren’t built with floors, so wherever the chicken tractor is moved to the chickens have access to fresh ground. They are increasingly popular with urban chicken enthusiasts, who may not have access to a large yard for the chickens to range around in.

Tractors come in all shapes and sizes - they are most common for people with a small flock, but huge chicken tractors that can house as many as 70 chickens are not unheard of out on acreage or farms.  No matter how many members of your feathered family you have, there’ll be a chicken tractor to fit your needs.

There are definitely benefits to having a chicken tractor, but stationary coops still make great chicken houses.  It just depends if you are physically able to move the coop yourself.  The coops are light enough for one person to be able to move them alone.  Sometimes people even hook them to ride-on mowers if you’re worried about your lack of muscle!

Here are some great things about having a chicken tractor:

  • You can keep the coop in a smaller area

  • It has all the features of an ordinary coop - nesting boxes, perches etc.

  • the chickens fertilize the yard (because there’s no floor), and you can move the coop to fertilize different patches

  • moving the coop around gives the chickens access to fresh grass and insects

  • when you move the coop to a fresh patch, the grass underneath has time to recover and regrow - so you’re not left with any bare patches. In order to prevent bare patches the chicken tractor needs to be moved every two-three days.

  • The chickens can easily catch the sunlight whilst they’re safe in the enclosure

  • the hen can sometimes make their own nest from the grounds materials (having the nesting box is still advisable)

  • you don’t need to have to constantly change their bedding (in the enclosure part of the coop), as you just move the chicken tractor to a different patch of grass

  • Chicken tractors can also turn into stationary coops very easily - just don’t move them anymore!

Our Taj Mahal and Cluck House are chicken tractor coops, pre-fitted with wheels to allow them to be easily wheeled around your yard.

taj mahal backyard chicken coop

There are many benefits to having a chicken tractor, as you (and your yard) really get to experience the full benefits of what your chickens are able to contribute to the environment.  Plus, the chickens always have nice fresh grass and a smorgasbord of bugs, insects and worms to indulge in come moving day! Your yard and your flock will thank you for it.

Sources and further reading

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