I made this explainer video to show how we move all our chickens on pasture. Pasture raised chickens, if they are legit, are chickens that are always on the move to fresh grass. So having good mobility is important for all our infrastructure.
I’ve also written about our pasture shelters for the chickens and about the mobile feed trailers we use.
Here’s the transcript:
Hi, I’m Dave your farmer from Wrong Direction Farm.
Today I’d like to show you how we move our chickens on their pastures. Now we always talk about “pasture raised“, but how do we actually keep the chickens on fresh grass? That’s an important question.
If the chickens were to stay in one spot for too long – well, you can kind of see what’s happening here. See the ground around their feeders; it’s getting a little bit beat up. So you know chickens, they love to chase bugs and while they’re doing that, they like to scratch up at the ground. They eat the plants that are growing on the ground and of course they poop all over it. Before long the ground is just a muddy mess. So we don’t want the ground to stay muddy for too long. The chickens would destroy the plant life in that case. What we want to do is provide a good opportunity to just disturb the soil a little bit, let the plants rest. The chickens won’t be back on this patch of ground for another year. That allows some time for the manure to soak into the soil and the whole system is able to regenerate and come back stronger next year.
So yeah, let’s get this move started and I’ll show you what we do.
We use a tractor. You don’t need a very big tractor; a modest sized one will work. We’ve also moved them with pickup trucks. The only problem with the pickup truck is you have a little less visibility to the rear. With the tractor I can turn around in the seat and see exactly what’s happening behind me.
AJ works inside the coop with me. He’s been doing this job for many years so he’s got a good sense of when the chickens are moving and when they’re a little bit stuck. You can see him in there waving those flags. Those flags are just made out of old trash bags that we’ve sliced up and put on the end of sticks. And there’s my signal to stop.
Well that’s all there is to it. The chickens are on fresh grass, everyone’s happy. Time to go move the next chicken shelter. Have a great day!