Our inspiration for raising chickens in chicken tractors comes from a family trip to Costa Rica where we stayed at a biodynamic farm in the cloud rainforest. Although the farm primarily grew herbs, animals were as a part of the crop rotation, to fertilize and control the jungle growth. Upon our return we decided to implement the ideas here at Am Braigh
Animals & Permaculture
Chickens are an important part of maintaining soil fertility on an organic farm. Their foraging minimizes pests and weeds and fertilizes the soil. The chickens are built into the crop rotation. After a couple of years of grazing an area, that area becomes a new garden bed. The old garden becomes the new grazing area so the chickens can work to improve that soil.
Permaculture tries to mimic nature and work within the cycles of nature. So even if we were not using the eggs the chickens would be valuable for the benefits to the s
How we care for the chickens
From mid April until mid October our chickens are out on pasture. Being outside and being able to roam within the safe confines of the tractor, chickens can express their innate characteristics or “chickenness” as Joel Salutin suggests. They are omnivores and they voraciously peck for and eat insects as well as forage clover, dandelions and grass. We supplement their diet with a non-GMO feed. In the winter, they move into one of our greenhouses where they have lots of light and are free range. Their diet is supplemented with all of our vegetable trimmings and weeds from our greenhouses.