Green Willow Homestead Chicken Tractor Review

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We finally found the best way to protect our laying hens from predators, while still allowing them access to fresh grass and bugs.

Green Willow Homestead chicken tractor review

Reasons for using a chicken tractor 

We have been asked by many of you to review the predator-proof chicken tractor that we use for laying hens, and it has made my life so much easier that I cannot wait to share our Green Willow Homestead Chicken Tractor Review. 

This innovative approach to backyard poultry care not only keeps our feathered friends safe but also plays a crucial role in the health of our garden, moving beyond mere convenience to contribute significantly to our sustainable living efforts.

If you’d like to learn more about the basics around raising your own chickens and eggs, check out this post on how to keep backyard chickens.

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Design and Features of the Green Willow Homestead Chicken Tractor

Compared to other chicken tractors, The Mobile Chicken Tractor design from Green Willow Homestead is both functional and attractive to look at. The triangle shape keeps the structure lightweight while maximizing the grazing and roosting areas for the layer hens.  Even better is that the wheels and the minimal weight make it very easy to move around the yard (which my chickens love!).   

The design is smart and straightforward and has made my chores a lot faster. Gathering eggs every morning is a breeze because the nest boxes are on the side and are very accessible.  It is also a very simple process to close the chickens in their roosting area in the evening and let them out in the morning.   

I have been impressed by how it has protected our chickens from predators.  The tractor has a tighter mesh wire on the bottom, and it also has an enclosed roosting area that adds an extra defense against predators at night.  In all the years we have had this chicken tractor we have not lost a single chicken to predators- can you believe it?    

Why We Love Our Green Willow Homestead Chicken Tractor

We opted for the Mega Mobile Chicken Tractor design which is large enough to hold up to 20 chickens. This was important for our family because we hoped to get all of our eggs from our layer hens rather than the grocery store.  Green Willow Homestead does have two smaller versions of the same chicken tractor if a smaller size is a better fit for your needs.

The roosting area has a ramp that works by using a special pulley system.  You can shut the ladies in nice and tight in the evenings and then move the chicken tractor in the morning before you let them out.  

The bottom of the roosting area is lined with a wide mesh wire which allows the chicken poop to fall to the ground rather than accumulate inside the roosting area.  This is great because it reduces the amount of time needed to clean their sleeping quarters and it fertilizes our grass as we move the tractor around our yard.

Building the Chicken Tractor

The Green Willow Chicken Tractor was a bit of a project to make, but it is very doable if you are into building things for yourself.  It does require several items but once you have everything you need it is a pretty straightforward process to put it together.  I feel that it was worth the time we put into making it.

You will need some basic construction tools to build this chicken tractor, so that is something to consider before ordering the plans.  You can look up the tools that are needed for construction on the Green Willow Homestead website.

Benefits of Using the Green Willow Homestead Chicken Tractor

I love this tractor so much and here are four reasons why:

  • The Green Willow Homestead Chicken Tractor has a two-layer protection system.  It has a finer mesh along the bottom to add extra protection against predators such as raccoons and a wider mesh at the top to protect the chickens from hawks and other large birds.  Its second protective layer is an enclosed roosting area to give extra protection at night, which is when most predators are active.  
  • The tractor has a handle at the front and wheels at the back and it is lightweight which makes it easy to move every morning.  I simply pull the tractor to a new patch of fresh grass.  This setup is helpful for our family because it prevents the chickens from damaging our garden, especially when we have new young sprouts in the spring.  I also appreciate how it keeps the chicken poop contained because our children also regularly play in the yard.  
  • A chicken tractor is a great alternative to a permanent chicken coop.  Chickens that remain in the same place scratch away the grass and leave bare soil.  Giving our hens access to a new patch of fresh grass, worms, and bugs every day makes healthy layer hens and healthy eggs.  
  • We do occasionally let the chickens roam in the yard outside of the chicken tractor when we can supervise them, but usually, we keep them inside because we have had a lot of trouble with predators.  Even though we live in town, we still have trouble with raccoons, foxes, owls, and even neighborhood dogs.  So, in our situation, it has been best to keep them in the tractor for safety.

Assembly and Setup of the Green Willow Chicken Tractor: A User-Friendly Experience 

I loved how many resources Green Willow provides. They have multiple ways that they provide help so that your chicken tractor is assembled properly the first time around. 

  • Green Willow Homestead provides a list of the tools needed for construction in the Q&A section of their website.  You can find this here: The A-Frame Chicken Tractor Build Plans – Green Willow Homestead
  • You can also order the plans for the predator-proof chicken tractor directly from the Green Willow Homestead shop here: Green Willow Homestead – Payhip
  • The plans for the Mobile Chicken Tractor from Green Willow Homestead have step-by-step instructions and video tutorials to help you build the chicken tractor.  They provide a list of all of the materials and tools needed for construction.
  • After ordering the plans you can access them immediately in a PDF format.

Keep in mind that there are different sizes of chicken tractors, too! You can get whatever works for you- isn’t that great? 

There are three different versions of the Mobile Green Willow Chicken Tractor.  There is a plan for a “Mini Mobile Chicken Tractor” that can house 4-6 chickens.  This is great for those of you who live in suburban settings where there are restrictions on how many chickens you can have in your yard.  

There is a medium-sized design that can accommodate 6-10 hens and then the mega chicken tractor which can house 15-20 hens.  We chose the “Mega Mobile Chicken Tractor” because it was the right size to provide eggs for our family’s needs.  It is always wise to buy a design plan that is just a little bigger than what you think you will need because it gives the flexibility to add a couple more hens without needing to size up. 

Maintenance Tips and Long-Term Durability of the Green Willow Chicken Tractor

Here is what we have found works for us to make sure we can keep our Green Willow Chicken Tractor working for the foreseeable future. 

  1. If you accurately follow the plans, you will have a long-lasting and very durable chicken tractor.  Ours has lasted for more than four years and it is still going strong.  I can see this tractor lasting for many more years to come.  
  2. If you substitute or leave out parts that are outlined in the plan your chicken tractor may not move as easily and may not be as durable, so I recommend following the plans as described by Green Willow Homestead.
  3. If you live in an area that gets very cold during the winter (under 20 degrees Fahrenheit) there are options to add to the mobile chicken tractor to keep your girls comfortable.  You can add mylar reflective insulation or double-sided foil tape.  Another option is adding chicken heating mats to the roosting area. We sometimes add a single regular lightbulb whenever temperatures fall below zero.
  4. If you like to sleep in on the weekends and your girls get a bit restless there is also an option to add an automatic coop door opener.  This would make the chicken tractor heavier so keep that in mind.

Green Willow Chicken Tractor Review Video

More Videos About Raising Chickens 

How to keep backyard chickens   

How to raise meat chickens on pasture  

Comparing the Green Willow Homestead Model to Other Chicken Tractors

We looked into several other chicken tractor options available, and we found that the Green Willow Homestead chicken tractor model was the best fit for our girls.  There are other chicken tractors out there that are more enclosed, but they are heavier and harder to move.  We also felt that these models are more difficult to clean and do not give as much ventilation for our hens. 

The Green Willow Homestead Chicken Tractor has been the best option for our family, but I would love to hear from you if you have tried other chicken options.  What has worked best for you?     

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The plans for our green willow chicken coop

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The information in this blog post is my personal experience and opinion. It is for general information purposes only, may not apply to you as an individual, and is not a substitute for your own physician’s medical care or advice. Always seek advice from your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding nutrition, medical conditions, and advice. Never disregard medical advice or delay seeking medical care because of something you have read on this blog.

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