I ran one Chicken Tracker in the spring of 2014 on my 24R Case, over approx. 3,000 acres. And loved it! It crumbled the top soil in all conditions.
Here in southern Wisconsin, we have variable conditions—throughout all or many fields. The Chicken Tracker helps eliminate any variables without plugging.
They’re easy to install, just the one factory bolt. If the spring would turn super dry, switch back to the factory rubber wheel.
I would recommend the Chicken Tracker to anyone with minimum or no-till and any varying soil type.
I ran the Chicken Tracker wheels over 1000 acres of no-till corn and 800 acres of no-till beans. I was very impressed with emergence of crops behind the Chicken Trackers.
When I ran my row cleaners deeper into wetter soils, the Chicken Tracker collected some mud. Then when I ran the row cleaners shallow, just moving residue away, the Chicken Tracker worked great. So, as with anything, work until you find the Trackers are doing their job.
Overall I was impressed with this product.
With the Chicken Tracker wheels, I noticed they left no ridge between the rows like the original press wheel left. This proved to be very beneficial because when we got a rain after planting with the Chicken Trackers, the ridges didn’t wash down like they did with the regular press wheels and put a crust on the wheat plants that were emerging or ready to emerge.
After all the rain we had this past spring, a better stand emerged with the Chicken Trackers, and we didn’t have to replant due to crusting problems. The Chicken Tracker wheels also did not build up with mud like the regular press wheels did after the abundance of rain during planting.
Schaffert Mfg. Co. made the Chicken Track rods 5 1/2″ between spokes. On the side with the arm coming down alongside the spokes they angle cut the rods so they run parallel with the arm, which left from 1/2″ to 3/4″ of room between the arm and Chicken Tracker wheel. This kept them from plugging with trash and residue.
To mount the new Chicken Tracker wheels, I used a 5/8″ x 4″ bolt with a 7/8″ nut over the bolt for a spacer bushing between the press wheel arm and the Chicken Tracker wheel hub. It was one of the best things I did to improve the John Deere 455 grain drill.
The center of the picture is the Chicken Tracker row and the other are the normal press wheels (Case IH press wheels on a Kinze planter). When I planted this the conditions where good and this picture is after two small rains of about a half inch or less.
If we had gotten more rain, the rows planted with normal press wheels would have crusted. The Chicken Tracker clumps soil so it does not crust as easy.
The Chicken Trackers work really well. Helped a lot in sticky conditions and allows us to plant a little faster in good conditions. Pretty much eliminated the air pocket in the seed trench we were seeing.
If you don’t want to plug your press wheels, try Chicken Trackers. They really help if you are putting down fertilizer with your planter and greatly reduce soil crusting for better emergence.
We purchased 4″ chicken trackers in the spring of 2018 for our 12 row 30″ front fold Case IH 1250 planter. Right away I noticed they did not build up with moist soil like the original rubber press wheels. I like how they mulch the soil over the seed bed and are very well built.
We are a no-till operation and are always planting into moist soils. This new addition to our planter has helped with even uniform seed bed finishing and better emergance.
We also purchased gauge wheel scrapers for the 12 rows. I’m extremely happy with Schaffert Mfg’s products and would highly recommend them to anyone.
We used 4″ Chicken Trackers and were pleased with the soil contact that they produce and believe it helped prevent washing down the row in hilly ground after a hard rain.
We were also very pleased with the stand and spacing with the Rebounders–had 98% accurate spacing.
“We have clay soils, planting conditions not always ideal; but the Chicken Tracker really helps to make sure that trench is closed. A lot of times it looks good right after you plant, but a day or two later it doesn’t look how you thought it should. With the Chicken Tracker you get a lot more pounds per square inch, on the Case planter it’s so easy to take on and off. They’re just awesome.”