How much forage area per hen?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by NoelC, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. NoelC

    NoelC Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 8, 2011
    Getting close now! I bought my beloved a small coop kit and assembled it about a year ago. I just finished the predator-proof pen and around it we have cordoned off w/ a chicken wire fence about 1/10th of an acre of what amounts to oak canopy that has lots of leaf debris and local vegetation in it. When you move leaves there are lots of bugs which we assume are good for the hens' diet. We also plan on throwing seeds out there for new sprouts. We're total newbies so we have no idea what we are doing!

    The 4 Red Star pullets we bought will forage, we hope, in this area when both of us are off to work, but otherwise we will let the birds roam around about 1/2 an acre to forage for food. So for most of their lives, during the daytime they will have access to about 1/2 an acre, and for a few days a week just in their 1/10th of an acre penned in area covered w/ leaves and local vegetation.

    We plan to feed them organic chicken feed of some sort, and guess maybe 1/2 of their food needs will come from forage, the other from feed. What do you think? Will they strip this area bare in short order?
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    That sounds like a good amount of space for just four chickens, so I think you might be okay. Sounds like a great set up and you're right - they should find lots of lovely bugs in all that leaf litter.
  3. Maggie C

    Maggie C Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2012
    Largo, FL

    You will be surprised by how quickly 4 chickens (I have 4 1/2 - 4 standards and a bantam) can go through whatever vegetation is there. I plant little plots of wheat every few days for my girls and they go through it like crazy. They have completely eaten every thing except the ivy (which is poisonous to them) and the bromeliads. I raise earthworms for them as well. Good luck and enjoy.

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