“Tractoring” Poultry

Howdy! Founded in 2002 Dragon Spur Farms is a small family-operated farm in Denton County Texas specializing in organic pesticide-free produce and true pastured dairy and meats.

Our goal is to be one of Denton’s leading local food providers to those in need.

The definition of pasture poultry is ” a sustainable agriculture technique that calls for the raising of laying chickens, meat chickens (broilers), and/or turkeys on pasture, as opposed to indoor confinement”.

That doesn’t mean birds are allowed to flutter where they will. As we at Dragon Spur Farms learned the hard way in the mid-2000s, that ‘fluttering where they will’ is just another way to feed hunting birds like hawks and owls, as well as free range canines like coyote and the neighboring dogs.

So we studied up and we learned how to “tractor” to pasture poultry.

Most folks think of machinery when they hear the word “tractor”. In fact, “tractoring” is what makes pasture poultry possible. But tractor is an idea much older than machines. The word tractor was taken from Latin, being the agent noun of trahere “to pull”.

“Tractoring” is a way to give birds a safe place to congregate at night, to lay their eggs, and to socialize and preen each other. During the  day they come out from their safe places to eat grass and insects. Just as importantly they get sunshine on their feathers so they build up important nutrients that metabolize their feed and minerals. That is why their eggs and meat are superior for your health.

We learned from other poultry farmers.

Like these folks here – we are not yet to this point, but we want to be. We certainly have a superior tractor design. 😉 Our birds cannot escape or be crushed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wxc0wgbh_As

We came up with our own unique designs so that even children can move the coop daily with no effort, to replenish birds’ water, and to refill the animals’ feed with minerals like calcium to make stronger eggs and better omega-3. As the tractor is moved the grasses are self-fertilized, the weeds are suppressed, and the earth itself is re-aerated. This makes for a stronger pasture. No petroleum by-products, no residual pesticides.

Moving our “tractors” every day takes no effort and can be done by elementary aged children. Which is a good way to teach your kids basic responsibility, or so we found with our kids.

chicken-tractor

We have also learned to winterize our “tractors”. The same devices are just as easy to move in ice and snow, and the birds thrive as they continue to lay eggs or mature into very healthy meat animals. That is the purpose of the long “legs” you see on the back of the picture above – to attach a winterized coop for the birds to stay warm and socialize each night.

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farm, meat, produce, poultry, dairy, herb