A slightly different take on the "chickens and grass" topic

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Xtina, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. Xtina

    Xtina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    I hope I'm not asking something that's already been talked about a lot. My question isn't, "can I keep grass with chickens," but how big an area of grass it takes per chicken for them to not be able to devastate it. Obviously, after three or four years of chicken keeping, I am well acquainted with the notion that chickens will tear the grass right up from the roots. But they can't tear up all the grass in the world! How many of square foot should a person allot per chicken to avoid them tearing it all up? Obviously, this also depends on where you live, so I'm looking for an average. Specifically, if I move to Austin, that is where I'd be applying any rule of thumb

  2. jmagill

    jmagill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2009
    Western Wyoming
    I have a elctronet that I use to free range my chickens in the summer. 20 Chickens on about a 40 foot diameter circle. I never have a problem as long as I don't feed them in that area. As soon as I thrown down scratch or food they rip it up.
  3. SmokinChick

    SmokinChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2011
    Kingsville, MD
    6 chickens + 2500 sqft. + 6 months = no grass.
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    20 chickens on about 2500 square feet (they have my whole backyard) and aside from a few areas they have dug out for dustbathing purposes, the grass is still intact after 3 years.
  5. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have thirteen chickens fenced in with approx 2500sf of grass and 400 sf of woods and I have to mow it!
  6. Xtina

    Xtina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    This is quite the range! I think the key is the difference in locations. I guess it's just going to take some experimenting. Thanks for your input!
  7. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Consider time as another controllable variable in the equation. It also controls how far the flock ventures away (into neighbor's yard). They free range between 1 to 2 hours in the late afternoon and return to the coop at dusk. The 50x100 lawn is doing well. There is also more than 1/2 acre of woods for 10 birds.
  8. Xtina

    Xtina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2008
    Portland, Oregon
    I agree about this and should have specified that I was envisioning full-time free ranging during their wakeful hours.
  9. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Well, I have 52 chickens, 9 ducks and a pair of geese ranging freely on just under two-thirds of an acre, and there isn't any grass anywhere after 4.5 months. They don't visit the "gully" as much so some sprigs of grass start to and can get to maybe half an inch before they discover it again. Whoosh, gone within four days.

    They don't eat the periwinkle ground cover, though.
  10. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I've had 3-5 chickens on 7000 sq ft, about 5000 sq ft of lawn with no damage. (rest is beds and deck)

    It used to be posted that a minimum of 450 sq ft per bird to maintain, or at least attempt to maintain a lawn.


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