Skip to main content

Getting stared with chickens - summing up

Over the past few weeks I’ve interviewed chicken flocksters on different sized properties, from suburban blocks to small farms, in four different countries, about getting started with chickens. This was a continuation from my first series of interviews about “getting started with growing your own”. One thing was the same in every interview, everyone loves watching their chickens! I really enjoyed reading these interviews, so I hope you did too. It is interesting to read about how people keep their chickens (and other poultry) and why they make those decisions, with lots of great advice for new chicken keepers too.

Here are all the interviews:

Ohiofarm Girl of Adventure in the Goodland (USA)

Gavin from the Greening of Gavin (Aust)

Madeleine from NZ Eco Chick (NZ)

Tanya of Lovely Greens (UK)

Adam and Amy from Sustainaburbia (Aust)

Linda from Greenhaven (Aust)

And my interview with myself (Aust)

I'm looking forward to more chicken discussions...

By the way, my chicken eBook is now available if you want to know more about backyard chickens and using chicken tractors.  More information over at the chicken tractor ebook blog.  Or you can get it directly from my shop on Etsy (.pdf format), or Amazon Kindle or just send me an email eight.acres.liz {at}

What's the eBook about?
Chickens in a confined coop can end up living in an unpleasant dust-bowl, but allowing chickens to free-range can result in chickens getting into gardens and expose them to predators.

 A movable cage or “chicken tractor” is the best of both options – the chickens are safe, have access to clean grass, fresh air and bugs. Feed costs are reduced, chickens are happier, and egg production increases. 

 But how do you build a chicken tractor? What aspects should be considered in designing and using a chicken tractor effectively? In this eBook I aim to explain how to make a chicken tractor work for you in your environment to meet your goals for keeping chickens. 

I also list what I have learnt over 10 years of keeping chickens in tractors of various designs and sizes, from hatching chicks, through to butchering roosters.

Reviews of the Design and Use a Chicken Tractor


  1. Hi Liz, thanks for this series and for offering a give away of this book. My advice, after everything that has happened here on the farm the last few weeks, make sure a fox/dogs etc 100% can not get in to their pens, I thought I had mine pretty well covered, but something still found it's way in while the big dogs were away from the property...and read everything you can about them and build a practical pen, squeezing in to a small pen to catch a chicken or clean out their pen is no fun...

  2. Loved this series!!! It was so funny and I learnt heaps. I love my chooks. At the moment they are super busy at the moment working over my garden. I love my mini tractors!!! I'm in NZ (as you know) but my brother lives in Oz and he's coming here next month. Can I please still enter? Would so LOVE this book!!!! Look forward to the next series! Mx

  3. I think the series has been a very sensible and informative thing to do with the rising popularity of keeping backyard chooks. My one BIG bug bare prepared to kill your chooks. Invariably there will be illness like a cloaca prolapse or an attack by other animal and the kindest thing is euthanasia. Same goes for roosters....don't dump's kinder to kill them (and makes sense). Tomorrow night at our Living Better meet-up we are really talking poultry in a big way and we have a speaker to talk to us about coccidiosis. Looking forward to it.

  4. Yes, I too liked it. My advice would be to start small. And keep them away from your food gardens, 'cause they will ruin a seasons food within hours...That does look like an informative read, thanks for the chance to win it.


  5. Cheers Liz, we are waiting until we move on to our farm to get into chookopia.

  6. I too liked your series. My advice would be to make sure you have suitable secure housing for your chickens BEFORE you purchase them. Its a real pain when livestock comes home and you haven't planned properly for them.

  7. Hi Liz, I enjoyed reading the interviews, maybe a series on keeping a house cow next??
    My advice to anyone thinking of keeping chickens is; prepare to become involved in the drama of their lives (better than Home and Away). For example; When your alpha hen goes clucky and decides to sit for a month on avocado seeds, the fights and strange behaviors exhibited by the beta hens trying to become alpha hen will amuse and bemuse you.
    Jude from Australia. (Chronicles of a humpy dweller)

  8. This was a great series. Thank you for posting at the HomeAcre Hop; I hope you'll join us again this Thursday.

  9. My advice is to go for it!!! Chickens are wonderful, easy pets that give back!!
    To have eggs all year around make sure you have a hen that matures (turns 6 months old & begins to lay) in May or June. The first year they come to maturity they must lay & so you will get your winter eggs whilst the old girls get lazy about giving them :)


Post a Comment

Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at

Popular posts from this blog

What to do with eight acres

Behind the scenes of my blog I can see the search terms that led people to find my blog.  It can be quite interesting to look through them occasionally and see what people are looking for.  Most of them involve chicken tractors, but another question that comes up regularly is “what can you do with eight acres?” or “how much land is eight acres?”.  Today I will try to answer this question.

Of course it is a very broad question, there are lots and lots of things you can do with eight acres, but I’m going to assume that you want to live there, feed your family and maybe make a little extra money.  I make that assumption because that’s what I know about, if you want to do something else with your eight acres, you will need to look somewhere else.

If you haven’t chosen your land yet, here a few things to look for.  Focus on the things you can’t change and try to choose the best property you can find in your price range.  Look for clean water in dams, bores or wells, either on the property …

Growing and eating chokos (chayotes)

Cooking chokos (not be confused with another post about cooking chooks) has been the subject of a few questions on my blog lately, so here's some more information for you.
Chokos - also known as Chayote, christophene or christophine, cho-cho, mirliton or merleton, chuchu, Cidra, Guatila, Centinarja, Pipinola, pear squash, vegetable pear, chouchoute, güisquil, Labu Siam, Ishkus or Chowchow, Pataste, Tayota, Sayote - is a vine belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family, along with pumpkins, squash and melons, with the botanical name Sechium edule.

The choko contains a large seed, like a mango, but if you pick them small enough it is soft enough to eat.  If you leave the choko for long enough it will sprout from one end and start to grow a vine.  To grow the choko, just plant the sprouted choko and give the vine a structure to climb over.  In summer, the vine will produce tiny flowers that will eventually swell into choko fruit.  The vine doesn't like hot dry weather.  And it doesn&#…

Native bee hotel

Like I wrote back here, native pollinators are as important (if not more important) than honey bees for pollinating crops and native plants.  There are a few things you can do to attract native pollinators to your garden:

Grow flowers and let your veges flower to feed the pollinators all yearHave a source of insect-friendly water in the garden (shallow dishes are best)Provide somewhere for them to live/nest/lay eggs - a bee hotel! In Australia, our native pollinators consist of both stingless native bees, which live in a colony like honey bees, and lots of solitary bees and wasps.  These solitary insects are just looking for a suitable hole to lay their eggs.  You may be familiar with these in sub-tropical and tropical areas, in summer you will find any and all holes, pipes and tubes around the house plugged with mud by what we call "mud daubers".  These area a real nuisance, so I'd rather provide some custom holes near the garden where they can live instead, so I don'…