We moved over half of our broiler chickens to pasture yesterday!! Our Cornish cross meat chickens are just a little over four weeks old. As the days start warming up, we will add the remaining birds that are still in the brooder to the flock. The ones that are currently outside have the most feathers and are able to withstand the cooler temperatures at night.
Our chicken tractor provides shelter from weather and aerial predators such as bald eagles, hawks, and owls. It also enables us to hang heat lamps during the cooler nights. We hung clear plastic on all four sides to keep the heat in better at night and we roll it up during the day.
Surrounding the chicken tractor is an electric poultry netting to keep the chickens in and to keep predators out. In Southern Indiana we have to battle foxes, coyotes, cats, raccoons, possums, dogs, and yes even bobcats.
The netting is charged using a solar battery. It is also easily moved, each pole has a double spike. Everyday the birds will be moved so they have fresh pasture and to ensure the previous area has time to regenerate. The chicken manure fertilizes and activates the microorganisms in the soil, brining life back into it.
The chickens are doing great and loving it outside. The have room to roam and play.