Starting chicks in a chicken tractor

Apr 25 2012 0 Comments Tags: chicken tractors, chickens, chicks

The transition from the chicks living in the brooder box to moving into chicken tractors can be difficult.  Ideally we hatch the chicks early enough in spring that they can move out after only 6 weeks, before they have all their feathers, because it is usually plenty warm enough by then.  Otherwise they have to stay inside longer and once they reach that noisy messy stage I can't wait for them to move out!

Even though it is warm enoug, we find that when we put chicks out in the tractor for the first few nights they need to 'tucked in' at dusk because they are so used to living in a box and not having open sides, its quite scary for them.  This means draping tarps, and old sheets, towels and blankets over the tractor so that they feel like they're still in a solid box.  Otherwise they spend the night trying to stick their little heads out of the mesh and sometimes they manage to squeeze out!  We only have to do this for about a week until they get used to it.  This also helps to keep the dew off their grass and keep out any drafts, while they acclimatise to not having the heat lamp above them at night.

We put them in a small tractor at first, and they get used to it moving along, so that when they are in he big tractor they don't get squashed when we move it.

The chicks in their tractor, still tucked in the next morning

Morning chicks!

Any tips for moving chicks from the brooder into their outside accomodation?  Any questions?



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