I know you are asking yourself, “What the heck is a chicken tractor?” It sounds like a cheesy ZZ Top song from the 80’s but I assure you that it is not. Actually, I would prefer my chicken to be grown in the aforementioned chicken tractor. It is a portable chicken coop on 6 wheels that has no bottom so the hens are able to supplement their diets with bugs and fresh grass leaving organic fertilizer behind when it is moved. It also has laying boxes in the hen house so the girls can lay their eggs in private while keeping them safe from hungry predators.
Now why do you think that they are called chicken tractors? That’s easy, what the chickens leave behind when their tractor is moved is grass that has been “mowed,” the bugs have been eradicated, and the land fertilized. The only other thing on the farm that can do all the same things is a tractor, hence the chicken tractor, pretty clever!
Why would people go to these measures to raise their own chickens in this manner instead of just buying what they need at the local mega mart? If you have ever seen a commercial chicken operation, you would understand why people go to these measures. Chickens grown in the commercial method live in a cage that is ½ ’ square all the while standing on a wire screen, fed growth hormones and they never get to see the light of day only the fluorescent lights that have been manipulated to maximize their laying of eggs. The chickens allowed to be outside and are designated “free range” and cost more but in my opinion, worth it. A happy chicken is a tasty chicken!
Amuse Bouche will take a look at current issues in today’s vast food world through the eyes of a sarcastic, CIA trained Chef. It will also keep readers abreast of current events and what is just arriving at the Canandaigua Farmer’s Market.