Weeds and weeds and then some weeds. What to do about them? One solution is to ask help from your chickens! In spring time, before planting your garden, you let your chickens feast on your beds. They love all the fresh new weeds and the seeds of other weeds that would grow later in the season. Happily they scratch the soil searching for these treats, working the soil nicely loose, eating worms, beetles, larvae and other undesired bugs on their menu as well! And how about the fresh fertilizer that they work into your soil at the same time. Win win is the name of this game.
The mobile chicken coop that you can move easily once or twice a day is called a chicken tractor. By keeping your chickens in the tractor, you can decide precisely which part of your garden is being cleaned, scratched and fertilized.
Chicken tractors are also very practical to raise meat chickens on a pasture: Yes, chickens love grass! By rotating them over the pasture, they will spread nitrogen evenly to keep the grass growing. It is good to provide a diverse pasture with different grasses and plants, so the chickens get the minerals, vitamins and proteins that they need. The quality of the pasture will directly be translated in the quality of the meat you eat, which will be translated in your own health: win win again!
The American farmer Joel Salatin made this method of chicken raising famous. It is worth it to check him out. He manages a beautiful family farm in Virginia with animal and environmental friendly techniques and has become an important spokesman for non-industrial food production.