A winter of chickens ranging in the woods
I finally started the
chickens back rotating
through their pastures after a winter spent free
ranging in the woods.
The reason was not so much that the grass was getting high (although it
was) as that the garden has reached a point that my blood pressure
rises when I see sneaky chickens there. Our temporary
fencing where the driveway enters our main homestead area is in
Lucy's way, so she often knocks it down, which lets the chickens amble
right on in. After about six rounds of chicken herding, I decided
our flock could graze on grass and clover for a while.
Before the signs of chicken
feet disappear from the woods, I decided to get an idea of how large of
an area our flock ranged over during the winter months. The map
above shows the focal points of chicken attention, three of which are
large trees like the one shown here.
Here's my guesstimate of
where our flock of seven chickens roamed for the last five months or
so. I counted on the creeks to moat them in, but the truth is
that the chickens stayed closer to home than that, rarely straying
further than 100 feet from one of our fences (which mark the boundary
of regular dog and human travels). Perhaps if I had cut their
rations back further, they would have ranged over more than three
quarters of an acre, but I was already feeding them only
about half as much as the recommended
daily allowance for an adult chicken.
Our chicken waterer keeps the flock healthy with POOP-free water.
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