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Chickens for Ground Clearance
4 March 2014, 19:19,
#1
Chickens for Ground Clearance
We're clearing some areas of the woodland ready for re-planting with coppice species over the 2014/15 winter. I have in mind putting some chickens in to do the work. The plan would be to use a moveable coop and to surround the "target zone" with electric chicken netting to keep out the predators.

The idea would be for the chickens to rough up the ground, clear some of the vegetation and add some fertiliser prior to fresh planting. In the spring I'd move them back to the same area to keep the new growth vegetation from competing with the trees. (Over winter I'll have them clear somewhere else)

Does anyone have experience of this? I have done some research already, but am seeking to add to the knowledge.

Two specific questions I'm looking for answers to are:

1. I'd like to have an area "dealt with" by the chickens in about a month before moving them on. Any idea of the "chickens per square meter" ratio that would be needed to achieve this?

2. I'd like to keep feed-input to a minimum. Again, any idea on the area per chicken needed for them to be almost self-sufficient if we are going to move them to fresh pasture after a month?

This will help me to know how many we need to get, and how big a coop will be needed.

All input, pointers, etc most welcome, as we've never kept chickens! Cheers.
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4 March 2014, 19:34, (This post was last modified: 4 March 2014, 19:37 by Straight Shooter.)
#2
RE: Chickens for Ground Clearance
I would say one per mt they will rip it up big time as for feed .....they will find feed ....just give them corn before they roost ... be careful of foxy .....electric fences......do not work that well.

often wondered why? Foxes carry a rubber matt on their backs. ! And insulated pliers.
To take a look back in times past, its easy to see future direction you need to be.
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4 March 2014, 20:25,
#3
RE: Chickens for Ground Clearance
You can not restrict chickens to a small plot with density enough to clear the ground without feeding them a standard daily ration.

I have 8 birds and they can clear 100 s/f in about two weeks, but they can not live on what they find in that 100s/f.

Neither do they "till" the ground. They will just pull up all the grass and trample it down to bare dirt and sallow some dust bath holes.

and if you are using a movable tractor over a good sized plot you will find that the ground recovers within a few months of being cleared.

I would not consider my chickens an efficient terraforming crew.

Hogs are another matter. Put up an electric fence and shove a couple of feeder pigs in there for the spring/summer. By killing time next fall you will have cleared, tilled ground and a winter supply of pork.
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4 March 2014, 20:46,
#4
RE: Chickens for Ground Clearance
A FOX STORY
Twas a Sunday morning about 26 years ago time was 6.30 ish a m at the SS ranch
SS laying in bed sleeping....wifey downstairs rustling up some bacon n eggs
The smell of which stiirred SS a bit
The silence shattered by wifey screeming for SS to comet quick ....followed by all three daughters screeming dad dad
Springing from the bed I run down staires trip up .....my arse catching the last four treads I reset my stance like inspector clouseou....What? What? I say......fox in chickens fox in chickhens! ......look out of window.....run out of cottage. Bollock naked ...picking up ....Bex Bissel carpet cleaner ...and throw it at the fox.....it fell short by 20 ft ....no more chickhens or the 2 ducks.........later.....I raid the freezer dig out some joints of meat ...hang them on the fence with some straining wire........back in the conservatory.......set a table up ....withe chair on top.....box of alphamax cartrages and my 12 gauge savage pump action .....this is war...... all set I lay in wait or sit in wait lts 8.30 pm ......11 pm....wify....come to bed! ......no i cry gunna kill the bastard ! .........1 a m ......phew ......sam the cat nearly gets it........ 2.20 a m dozing slightly I see the bastard ......lift the gun though the top sash window......in the rush to blow foxy away........I blew up the fucking drain pipe.......but I scarred the shit out of the fox.......and myself........then 3 screeming daughters begging me not to kill the fox......and wifey looking at the half empty bottle of grouse....the the glance.....the shaking back and forth of her head.....and the muttering......you are fucking nuts.........sorry T felt the need pal.
To take a look back in times past, its easy to see future direction you need to be.
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4 March 2014, 22:49,
#5
RE: Chickens for Ground Clearance
Thanks folks, for the replies. Very useful.
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5 March 2014, 18:37,
#6
RE: Chickens for Ground Clearance
Pigs are far better at clearing round
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