Hi everyone, I'm new here, so please be gentle! I understand that true free-ranging means NO fences (right?), but for the ease of explaining, I have a question regarding "free-ranging" my upcoming chickens on my 1/2 acre pasture. The pasture is currently fenced with split-rail, which I will be supplementing with hotwire. (I imagine I'll also have to clip a few wings in order to keep the chickens contained in the pasture and not wandering off into the neighbor's yard.) The quality of the grass in the pasture is very good, and I'm planning on letting it grow tall this year for the chickens to forage about in. My main question is - if I keep a flock of roughly 12 chickens on this size pasture, will they reduce it all to a mudbath? Should I be "rotational grazing" them in the area, in order to keep the grass at optimum health? Or is 12 - 15 chickens sustainable on 1/2 acre, if they are locked in a coop and run at night for safety? Although I'm not sure of the size of the run yet, it will have gravel footing so it can be used as a "sacrifice pen" for early spring and poor weather when the grass isn't tall enough anywhere to sustainably graze. Please forgive my use of terms - I come from a background with horses so that's really the only way I have of explaining things right now. Thank you all so much for listening to all my questions!