Pasture for chicken management

crazykenley7961

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Dec 10, 2020
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Does anyone here pasture their chickens? I guess it's just a fancy way to say you're free ranging them, my goal is to absolutely minimize my feed costs on my first personal flock. The majority of the chickens I've raised have been free ranged, but I haven't got that luxury. My plan is to establish a run that is seeded with the following seed blend:

Great Plains seed blend

What I need is more information regarding how I need to manage the run. I will be fencing the area immediately outside the coop and running 6 red star hens, they'll have AT LEAST 250 square feet to play with, and their wings will get clipped to save me a little money. All tips are appreciated.
 
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Vicky

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Mar 27, 2020
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Hi crazykenley7961, I would think that the best thing you can do is to have different areas within the run, all planted out with your seed blend and then use a rotational system. if you can put some hardy perennials in each area that would be fantastic too, wormwood, strong weeds that grow in your area etc. You can construct small cages to put around more delicate plants and/or pile rocks around the bases to stop the girls from scratching the root area. I have also seen a very good deep litter yard for chickens using wood chip mulch in a small area and the idea of having a composting bin/yard that they can help themselves to. Many, many different ideas out there, some depend on how much rainfall you get and your general area. I try to have 'different' things happening that I can close off and open up to them at different times to keep them interested but we are very dry here so it does limit us a bit. I'd be interested to hear how it goes for you!!
 

nzmitzi

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Pasturing chickens is not free ranging as I understand it.

Most Americans who use the term still have the chicks/chickens in a tractor that they move daily. They also still give them chicken feed.

The daily move does mean they are eating the grass and bugs, but it is mostly for more flavor (of the meat at the end) and to make them feel they are doing more for the chickens well being.

If you are going to limit them to a small area - rotation of the area is a very good idea to allow the grasses etc to recover.
 
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