chicken tractor (the Tasty Shed annex)

We built this chicken tractor for the girls – very handy for when we need to do something in the backyard and need them out of the way; or if we want to give the grass in the backyard a bit of a break.
Features include:

  • Made from scrap lumber. All the black rubber bits (e.g. the handles and strap) are old bicycle tubes.
  • Half of it is shaded by burlap from old coffee bags (procured for free from a local coffee roaster)
  • Lightweight – can be moved by 1 person (although the size makes it easier with 2 people).
  • Folds up to be quite narrow – takes up very little space along the garage wall.

It’s always a big hit when the girls are in the front yard in the tractor and people walk by.

lead in soil articles

A couple articles exploring the possibility of lead in the soil around you home, which could potentially be consumed by your chickens:

http://www.portlandtribune.com/opinion/story.php?story_id=123801660877902600

http://blog.oregonlive.com/pdxgreen/2009/06/the_dirt_on_testing_soil_for_l.html

The Oregonain article had some useful resources in a sidebar that were not included on the page linked above:

Information on collecting soil samples:
http://www.umass.edu/plsoils/soiltest/soilbrochure2009.pdf

Interpreting your soil sample results:
http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/pdf/ec/ec1616-e.pdf

Fly Control

fly_control.jpg

If you’re looking for a way to help control the flies, we highly recommended the Rescue brand traps. We tried another brand (seen on the left in the above image) and it was worthless – it literally caught 3 flies while the Rescue one completely filled up.

The can get pretty smelly as they fill up, but I think that’s part of why they work. Just be sure not to put them right near a place you’ll be hanging out.

We get them at our favorite local hardware store (Parkrose hardware), but they are available at amazon.com as well.