5 hens in 1/4 acre pen--how is the grass going to look? *update!*

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Raen, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. Raen

    Raen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 3, 2010
    Missouri
    I'm getting my first chickens Sunday! Yay! They will be 5 adult (1.5 y.o.), full sized hens (probably will get three more babies in spring). Besides their newly constructed coop and small covered pen, they will have a 1/4 acre area (the dog yard) to free range in during the day. It looks like this:

    (Please excuse the mess, construction was in progress while photo was taken. Also, we seem to have a lot of ladders.)

    [​IMG]

    For some reason, the grass in this area grows like crazy. Like, a foot a week. How will it look after a summer with five-ish chickens chowing down on it? What would you say is the critical chicken mass for this yard, before it is a barren waste-land of dust and stones? Do you think this land could support 5-ish chickens and two pygmy goats? (Please tell me I should get some goats.)

    ***Update in post 50***
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  2. joebryant

    joebryant Overrun With Chickens

    I'd divide it into two or three sections and rotate the chickens; otherwise, there ain'ta gonna be no grass real soon, especially with a goat too. Can you put the goat somewhere else?
     
  3. nikischicks

    nikischicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In my experience its going to look no existent real quick! lol
     
  4. Raen

    Raen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 3, 2010
    Missouri
    Well, the goats are theoretical. I have farm-girl ambitions. I don't have to get them, but goats are charming (and also a little intimidating, what with all the escapist tendencies.)

    Do chickens rip up grass by the roots like horses do, or do they "mow" it?
     
  5. nikischicks

    nikischicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Im like you raen, I have the tendency too! Mine mowed it down until there was nothing, they scratched and ate until it was bare.
     
  6. Barred Rocks forever

    Barred Rocks forever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2009
    maryland
    mine took most of it out but it eventually grew back then eaten again
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Do you like moonscapes? lol. BTW...Very nice chicken house...dont forget to predator proof everything.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  8. Raen

    Raen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 3, 2010
    Missouri
    Really? 5 hens can kill that much grass? I was expecting reassurance!
     
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Well, first they'll excavate their dust bath spa depressions, then they'll scratch the grass up all around those, giving them more area in which to dig more dust bathing spa depressions, and then they'll eat all the new shoots of grass that spring up, and then they'll find another spot where they can dig holes.

    Moonscape is exactly what yards become.

    Now, I have a lot of grass that is growing and the WHOLE space is not nekkid now, but that's because of the rain and a lot of watering I've done. But the yard is amazingly "lumpy," what with this or that fox hole. I just happen to think it's adorable to look out the window and see a chicken in every single depression, telescoping their heads around to see where everybody else may be.
     
  10. Barred Rocks forever

    Barred Rocks forever Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 9, 2009
    maryland
    i also plant grass seed at night
     

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