Home ranges of subflocks, getting more pasture usage

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by centrarchid, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,883
    2,531
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I have taken time to determine pasture usage by my flock of largely free ranging birds. Their activities are centered on the northeast 3 acres of our 18 acre patch. The flock is actually made up of 4 subflocks. Subflocks move about as cohesive units with a pecking order maintained within the subflock. Pecking order between flocks is largely a function which group is dominant. Even low ranking birds of dominant flock can drive off dominant individuals of low ranking flock. This can be seen when subflocks commingle around feed or waterers. All the subflocks have ranges centered on cover. Most dominant subflock called "Three Musketeers" is made up of three American game stags (range demarked by purple. They displace everyone and have largest home range with roost in garage on west side of house. Second ranking subflock with roost on / under coops made up of 9 Privette Strain dominiques hatched back in mid June (range demarked by black). Third is "Gang of Four" (two American Games and two Voter Strain dominiques) marked in blue with roost under porch at front of house. The lowest ranking is marked with red and made up of 11 Cackle Hatchery strain dominiques and 5 red jungle fowl hatched about August 8. They roost in box next to bed room window. All ranges centered on a mixture of heavy vegetation, water and feeding stations. Goal is to get subflocks to move to pond southwest of all ranges for water. To enable will require plantings / construction of cover between present ranges and pond. Anyone tried landscape management to get birds to use more of existing pasture? Fear of raptors is big part of present association with cover patches.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,361
    153
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Fascinating... wish I had that much acreage at present.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2010
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    17,883
    2,531
    466
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Quote:To be honest, some of acreage in use not mine. Black line repressents fence boundaries which key to cover quality. Neighbors not bothered yet but still want shift onto my land.
     
  4. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    30,361
    153
    446
    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Quote:To be honest, some of acreage in use not mine. Black line repressents fence boundaries which key to cover quality. Neighbors not bothered yet but still want shift onto my land.

    That makes sense!!
     
  5. Zoomom

    Zoomom Certified Cackleberry Consumer

    383
    3
    134
    Jan 22, 2009
    Ontario, Canada
    Very interesting.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by