1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    Not a member yet? join BYC here & then introduce yourself in our community forum here.

How many chickens does it take...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Jarhead, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. Jarhead

    Jarhead Songster

    626
    6
    141
    Aug 12, 2008
    Arkansas
    I thought this would be the best place to post this, not sure though. Is there a mathematical formula for how many free range chickens are needed to keep a certain square footage of grass "clipped" at a certain length. Something like:

    X/Y/B=C

    X= sq ft of grass
    Y= inches of grass height desired
    B= Average amount of grass a free range chicken eats
    C= # of chickens

    I know that the example formula I gave probably wouldn't work, since Pi is not in it, and nothing is squared [​IMG]
    But you get my point.

    Reason I ask is we noticed that our 3 week old chicks keep the grass in their 64sqft run at about 1/2 an inch tall. They are in there from about 8am until dark. The rest of the yard is about ready to be mowed and is several inches tall. We looked at it today and said cool, then scratched our heads, and said to one another at the same time, how many adult chickens do we need to keep the rest of the yard "mowed", but not dirt.

    So anybody have any formula?
     
  2. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    9,573
    402
    326
    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Not really sure. I put 28 chickens at 14wks old in a 256 sq ft run and in 2wks there wasn't any grass.
     
  3. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    9,573
    402
    326
    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    Not really sure. I put 28 chickens at 6 wks old in a 256 sq ft run and in 2wks there wasn't any grass.
     
  4. dacjohns

    dacjohns People Cracker Upper

    That is a tough one with more variables and results. They will dig, scratch, and trample in addition to clipping.

    They also fertilize while they are at it which will promote growth and maybe even kill the grass from overfertilization.

    If I ever get my orchard fenced I can give you a qualitative rather than a quantitative answer.
     
  5. Jarhead

    Jarhead Songster

    626
    6
    141
    Aug 12, 2008
    Arkansas
    Our backyard is fenced with an 8' privacy fence and is about 1/3 acre so our 10 probably won't make a dent in it.
     
  6. JennsPeeps

    JennsPeeps Rhymes with 'henn'

    6,583
    16
    261
    Jun 14, 2008
    South Puget Sound
    My backyard is quite small as my entire lot is just 0.10 acre. I don't have a lot of grass because I am an avid gardener. With 4 chooks and the little grass I do have, they've kept it clipped all summer. I haven't mowed it once.

    Here's the google map of my house. You can see that I've got a very small lot!
    [​IMG]
     
  7. mistylady

    mistylady Songster

    632
    3
    141
    Jun 1, 2008
    Ohio near Coshocton
    JeensPeeps, that map thingy is too cool! How do you do that?

    My hens will be out in the run by the end of three weeks (dh said it will be done by then) so I can' help right now! My chickies are runlessat the moment.

    Edited .... typos!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2008
  8. spookykim

    spookykim Songster

    347
    0
    129
    Jul 16, 2008
    Ohio
    Quote:google earth [​IMG]
     
  9. Jarhead

    Jarhead Songster

    626
    6
    141
    Aug 12, 2008
    Arkansas
    I like google earth too, use it all the time. How much square footage of grass do you say you have amongst your gardening?
     
  10. tvtaber

    tvtaber Songster

    350
    2
    141
    Aug 2, 2007
    Central CA
    100 square feet per bird is the minimum (roughly) to keep them from destroying the grass altogether. You may not get a clipped lawn, but at least you'll still have a lawn! Chickens love to dust bathe, though, and will create craters whereever they think the bath should be, not necessarily where you want them to. Depending on how manicured you like your yard, it may become a problem.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: