Are you curious about the journey behind our DIY A-Frame chicken coop tractors? In this post I am going to share with you why we decided to design and build our own unique A-frame chicken tractor for our backyard hens. Lastly, I'll share with you how you can get your hands on our A-frame chicken coop tractor build plans so you can build one for your backyard or homestead!
My very first flock of backyard chickens clocked in at seven beautiful hens. After researching and reading as much as I could on how best to raise laying hens, I decided to let them free-range because pastured chickens are the happiest and healthiest.
Why? Being able to forage for bugs and grubs allows them a diverse diet, lots of sunshine, and never ending entertainment. Keeping hens on grass also provides us the healthiest eggs possible thanks to their higher beta-carotene, choline, and omega-3 levels. It was win-win in my book.
So after a few weeks of free-ranging my very first flock, imagine my dismay when I came out to check on my girls and found feathers and blood everywhere. My heart sank as I did a headcount and found two of my girls missing. A hawk had been through my flock and thus began the conundrum that most backyard chicken owners face. Do you let your hens free-range and take the risk of a predator attack or do you keep them cooped up and safe and limit their diet and their happiness?
There’s nothing quite like having the infrastructure you need to farm, especially for those of us who farm in colder climates. When we first purchased our farm, the barn was in desperate need of renovation. The previous owners used it to store old farm equipment, junk, and well, more junk. The mice also turned it into their personal cabin getaway. It was hard to imagine it would ever look clean again...
In this video, I share with you the before and after of our barn renovation, go over our budget, the scope of work, and give you a barn tour!
In the early 1920s, almost 1 million Black farmers owned 14% of American farmland, but that story is vastly different today. According to the Baltimore Sun, Black farmers lost an astonishing 90% of their land over the years, and today fewer than 50,000 African American farmers, out of a total 3.4 million farmers, remain in business. Farming as a strong source of livelihood for people of African descent is now a distant memory.
Thanks for stopping by Green Willow Homestead! From chicken rearing to composting, we've got our hands full and we love sharing what we've learned along the way. Follow along as we turn the 80 acres we call home into a farm that serves its community and a homestead that nourishes us throughout the seasons.
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Favorite Books of 2021
2. Braiding Sweetgrass
3. As Long As Grass Grows
4. The Small Scale Poultry Flock
5. The Zero Waste Solution