How much land?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by earthnut, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. earthnut

    earthnut Songster

    Sep 18, 2007
    Seattle, Cascadia
    If I were to give chickens free range, with no supplementary food, how much land would be needed for a half dozen chickens?
  2. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    This depends on what type of range they are on. Is it an old grarden, field, lawn or bare earth? It could be any where from a few sq. yards to acres. Another thing to consider is, is there any worms or bugs on this range? Many more factors than just the size of the land.
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Earthnut, I know that chickens on subsistence farms in Southeast Asia, will sometimes range a half mile and more from home.

    Is it any surprise that with all the exercise, these flocks tend to be highly unproductive?

  4. carugoman

    carugoman Songster

    Nov 8, 2007
    NW FL Crestview
    If I were to give chickens free range, with no supplementary food, how much land would be needed for a half dozen chickens?

    I have 30 contiguous acres,11 is pasture,5 is orchard,8 is marketable produce and about 6 is forest and natural spring/pond. I have a poultry flock that can be from 250-400 birds:chickens ducks turkeys geese pheasant etc. The whole flock free-ranges,as does my five dairy goats and 3 dairy cows. I grow many companion plants that do well growing together and help attract beneficial insects and others that are natural repellents and pesticides. When you say that you free-range with no supplementary food,it's hard for me to understand this,especially if you practice diligent animal husbandry and the basic tenets of farming?
    I grow all sorts of legumes,grasses and grain for my livestock. Alfalfa,field peas,sweet clover,vetch,barley,oats,spelt,dent corn and millet. Also I'll put in a few acres of spanish peanuts,followed by mangels(sugar beets) so the goats have something sweet to eat. Chickens relish peanuts mangels and comfrey(both the leaf and the root),and and this kick-starts your compost heaps quickly.

    All y'all take care!​
  5. dbjay417

    dbjay417 Songster

    Dec 14, 2007
    I've a small piece of land, and except for the absense of a watering hole, i think my flock could thrive on it. There is rich soil, tons of plantlife, and plenty of junk. There are bugs and weeds everywhere. Its funny actually, by birds have come to link food and gardening tools together. Now every time I pick up a rake, or shovel they all come running to see what goodies I turn up.
  6. Wolfpacker

    Wolfpacker Songster

    Jul 7, 2007
    I think I remember reading on one of these threads about chickens and their senses that a chicken wouldn't wander much further than 50 yards or so from their coop, because that's about as far as they can see.

    Anyone else remember that? If that's true, it doesn't matter how much land you have because they won't go that far away, unless of course you use a tractor and move their coop along with them.
  7. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

    Sep 20, 2007
    Northeast Texas
    I have 5 acres, there's an empty lot of 30 acres next to me that is owned by folks out of town who have it logged every so often. Most of the land is wooded, not much grass but lots of trees, leaves, and brush for bugs to hide in. I throw out the occasional scratch if it's going to be cold, and since it's winter I've been putting out some feed. During the spring, summer, & fall I don't have to put out much supplemental feed.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 20, 2007
  8. TxChiknRanchers

    TxChiknRanchers Songster

    Aug 18, 2007
    Southeast Texas
    I did not see that but it may be true ours have over 100 acres available and rarely get out of sight.

  9. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    It could be significant that SE Asia is the home of the domestic chicken but I don't think so. It could be because there are wild chickens in the mountains that they would travel. I think they were hungry and exploiting the resources.

    In my own backyard the hens have trouble going around the house into the front yard. They won't stay for more than a moment on the other side of the greenhouse. Maybe because there is a dog in the next yard over (who totally ignores them).

    I know that not having a rooster makes a difference. When I lived in the country and had a rooster, the birds would range out into the trees - as it turned out, to the benefit of a coyote.

    I think it is safe to say that if they don't have sufficient reason to stay at home - they will even leave.

  10. skeeter

    skeeter Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    Parma Idaho
    weve had chickens that went all over the place,the barn was 3 or 4 hundred from the house sometimes they would roost in a tree by the house and sometimes in the rafters of the barn or maybe they would go all the way to the neighbors place but you got to have some kinda feed for them especially in the winter time

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