How many chickens can I have per acre?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by dominique man, Aug 2, 2014.

  1. dominique man

    dominique man Out Of The Brooder

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    So let's say I've got an acre fenced off and I want chickens and turkeys how many chickens and turkeys could I have per acre assuming I had a large enough coop to sustain the max number of birds for that acre
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    That all depends on what your goals are for your land and flock management. It also depends on your climate and soil type and ground cover. Are you expecting the flocks to forage most if not all of their feed from the acre? Or are you just wanting to give them plenty of room to roam and do chicken and turkey pursuits? Do you expect the existing ground cover to stay in place... look decent? Or are you willing to have the birds turn the ground cover into a barren moon scape? I can tell you that last summer, I had a 1600 s.f. electronet run. I started with 11 chicks, sent 6 cockrels to the freezer, ending up with 5 pullets. They did a combination of ranging in the run, with free range time when I was home to supervise them. They removed all of the greenery in about a 15' radius around their coop which was in the electronet enclosure. They made some pretty deep dust baths, ate all of the vegetation that they liked, left the stuff they didn't like... So the ground cover has changed from lawn(ish) to a much coarser combination of asters, some noxious viney creeping invasive plant, and some grass. They were well fed with standard prepared feed. Your acre would be 40,000 s.f. I don't know how hard turkeys are on a yard. For my own flock management, I'm happy if the ground stays covered with green. It doesn't have to be grass. If I were terribly concerned about the types of plants growing there, I'd have to move their run, and overseed it with what ever I wanted to grow there. Fall would be a good time to do that, as the flock will be ranging in the harvested garden, and grasses germinate and put on good growth in cooler weather. The one thing I never want to see in my flock management is bare soil in my run. Sorry, that was the long answer.

    Here's the short answer: You'll have to experiment and see what works for you. Perhaps you could divide that acre in half, and put chickens and turkeys in 1/2 acre to a density of 25-50 s.f./chicken, and 50-100 s.f./turkey. Then, when one section shows wear, you can move them to the other side.
     
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  3. dominique man

    dominique man Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice! I was mostly thinking that I don't need it to be green but I probably will fence off areas in the spring to grow wheat, corn, and sorghum. I was looking into this because we are looking into moving out to the country and I was wondering how many I can have per acre
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2014
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Regardless of how many you have, you'll need to feed them. Doms are a wonderful breed.
     
  5. dominique man

    dominique man Out Of The Brooder

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    I was thinking of placing outdoor feeders around the plot, and yes doms are great
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I'd keep the food and water near the coop...then they'll come back round to drink and lay and roost at night.....and it'll be easier for you to maintain the feed/water station(s).
     
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Start with a smaller flock than you think. As the years go by, add to it.
     
  8. dominique man

    dominique man Out Of The Brooder

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    Yeah that is what I'm doing with my current flock I just wish my neighbors were more chicken friendly then they are so I could have more chickens
     

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