How long should pasture "rest" before the next chicken tractor?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by feetsoup, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. feetsoup

    feetsoup Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 17, 2009
    Pasadena
    I hope this is the right section...

    I think I understand the mechanics of running a chicken tractor over pasture in the ideal world where I have infinite space, but I'm having trouble figuring out how many chickens I could reasonably run in a limited space over a given period of time, basically how many chickens my lawn can support. Can anyone help me with the algebra of figuring this out? I feel like I'm doing word problems for a test I haven't studied for...

    I think what it boils down to is: how long do I need to wait before I can safely move a chicken tractor over a space it's already been on again? Weeks? Months? I haven't a clue!
     
  2. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:Depends on how fast your grass grows.... If it grows back sufficiently in a week, then its a week. If it takes a month, then its a month.
     
  3. feetsoup

    feetsoup Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 17, 2009
    Pasadena
    Don't I have to worry about overloading the grass with chicken manure? I'm more concerned with sanitation/accidentally killing my grass. [​IMG]
     
  4. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    Chicken manure is sold in 80lb bags as fertilizer, if you manage it right, it should HELP your lawn, not burn it.
     
  5. 1birdlady

    1birdlady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 13, 2008
    Spring, Texas
    Chicken manure is sold in 80lb bags as fertilizer, if you manage it right, it should HELP your lawn, not burn it.

    But as I have understood it, "fresh" chicken manure is "hot" and has potential to burn roots/plants if too fresh?
    Doesn't it need to compost for a few weeks/months? [​IMG]
     
  6. elem

    elem Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 12, 2009
    Vancouver
    The grass re-growth is a good guideline and it will also depend on how many chickens you have in the tractor. If you have a lot of chickens in a small space they will scratch up more grass and leave more poop than if you only had a few chickens in the tractor. I have 3 chickens in a 4x8 tractor and depending on weather (more growth in summer, less in fall/winter) I can move them over the same spot in a couple weeks or it might take a month. For me, the chickens scratching up the grass is a bigger problem than excess nitrogen from the poop.
     

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