How much land? Chicken/Turkey to acre ratio...

m1chelle1

Songster
Jan 12, 2017
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The Great PNW
Hello all!
I'm looking into buying land (hopefully soon) and am trying to determine how much land I should be looking at for free range chickens and turkeys. Is there a good rule of thumb on a chicken and turkey to acre ratio? You know, like ten chickens and ten turkeys to every acre, etc... The land would be mostly grass land and some wooded areas. Any input would be appreciated, thanks!
~Michelle
 

NikAndHerChicks

Songster
Nov 7, 2017
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MI
Not sure about turkeys, but chickens don't require much space at all! Just 4 sq ft per bird in a coop & 10 sq ft per bird in a run! So... lots per acre! More importantly than that, though are the rules/restrictions where you are buying land. Do they have a limit of how many they allow per acre? Are you allowed to have roosters? If you haven't yet, make sure you look into that! :)
 

m1chelle1

Songster
Jan 12, 2017
407
990
222
The Great PNW
Not sure about turkeys, but chickens don't require much space at all! Just 4 sq ft per bird in a coop & 10 sq ft per bird in a run! So... lots per acre! More importantly than that, though are the rules/restrictions where you are buying land. Do they have a limit of how many they allow per acre? Are you allowed to have roosters? If you haven't yet, make sure you look into that! :)
Thanks so much! Yeah, im curious too if anyone in this forum knows anything for the turkey specifications....it makes me curious if it would be much different:confused:. But YES! where im looking they allow roosters (thank goodness, theyre my fav) and there is no specified limit. That is definitely something I need to make sure of before buying, good advice :highfive:
 

NikAndHerChicks

Songster
Nov 7, 2017
181
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MI
Glad you did your homework first and good luck with your property search! :thumbsup I know how daunting it can be. My husband and I searched for almost 10 years before we bought our property. :eek: It was a long process, but we have been here for 5 years now & are so glad we held out until a piece came on the market that checked off almost all of the boxes on our wish list!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Great Horny Toads
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I don't believe there's a recommendation for birds per acre like there is for other farm stock. A lot has to do with how you plan to manage your birds. Both chickens and turkeys will supplement their diet by free ranging but neither can survive on range alone.

Do you plan to use movable tractors? Fencing? Are you raising for production? What you are doing with the birds and what your long term goals can dictate how much land you need.

In general I wouldn't recommend 100% free range as birds can wander off and predators can help themselves.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
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I don't believe there's a recommendation for birds per acre like there is for other farm stock. A lot has to do with how you plan to manage your birds.
Ditto Dat^^^

Also depends on what kind of soil, climate, vegetation as to how well the land will hold up to poultry populations.

Knowing more about your poultry goals might help us help you.
 

Maeschak

Songster
Mar 29, 2016
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Maryland, USA
Hello all!
I'm looking into buying land (hopefully soon) and am trying to determine how much land I should be looking at for free range chickens and turkeys. Is there a good rule of thumb on a chicken and turkey to acre ratio? You know, like ten chickens and ten turkeys to every acre, etc... The land would be mostly grass land and some wooded areas. Any input would be appreciated, thanks!
~Michelle
I have no clue but you could use the label rouge specifications for land to chicken ratio.
https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/download.php?id=224
They use 2 acres per 4,400 chickens, but they need much more space if you want them to maximize their foraging.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium member
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Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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I have no clue but you could use the label rouge specifications for land to chicken ratio.
https://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/download.php?id=224
They use 2 acres per 4,400 chickens, but they need much more space if you want them to maximize their foraging.
Interesting standards......some are vague and numbers don't quite add up...as misleading as the 'label' requirements here in the US.
2 acres is 87120 sqft.
4400 x 22 is 96800 sqft.
The pop hole and and 'cereal' requirements are wide open to interpretation.
 

m1chelle1

Songster
Jan 12, 2017
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The Great PNW
All-

Love the conversation! Yeah, I had the feeling that the "standard" would be loose, at best. I get that, just wasn't sure if there would be any opinions on what might "work best". I do want to maximize the foraging for sure, I understand that I would need to still supplement their diet, which I intend on. My goals are to own an organic free range chicken and turkey farm, but I wouldn't have a ridiculously large number of poultry. Was thinking of 20 dual purpose (orpington) chickens to start off with, would sell the eggs, and eventually meat when they aren't laying anymore, and maybe expand from there. Then about 50 turkeys per season, with room for expansion.
My ideas are to look at around 10 acres, with the chickens and turkeys on various runs in the 5 (protected in the barn at night), and use the other 5 as living space and small organic farm space (veggies). I would fence off separate runs on the 5 acre, maybe an acre a run, and have them on an acre for a month (or so...depending on how well the grass does), then rotate to the next acre next month, so on and so forth. I have a dog who is used to being around chickens who I plan on using as a livestock protection dog (shes loud) and she has NO prey drive whatsoever, so I have confidence she would not attack the poultry. They would not be left outside after dark, and I have a lot of predator defense measures I plan on implementing :thumbsup. Hmmm, I think that pretty much covers it.
My overall intent, I think, is that if I plan on expanding my chicken and turkey numbers at any point, I do want the ability to do so, without having to purchase another property.....:frow:bun
thanks all!

~M
 
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