How Many Chickens Per Acre?

Free-range hens on spring grass on my farm.

What’s the maximum number of hens I can keep per acre? And what’s the downside of exceeding this? Why do I get answers all the way from one to a thousand? And, for that matter, what are the best tips for keeping free-range chickens?

After all, it’s discouraging when your chickens turn their nice grass range into a sea of mud. Here’s how to avoid this.

Chickens are Hard on Grass

It’s discouraging when your chickens turn their nice grass range into a sea of mud.

By default, your chickens will destroy all the ground cover in the immediate vicinity of the chicken coop. They do this through a combination of eating the plants, scratching the ground cover with their claws, and covering everything with manure. This process is quite fast in the area around the house, especially in wet weather, when the ground is soft. Even a flock with just a few hens will denude the area right around the chicken coop. Further away, the process is slower. read more...

New, Improved Norton Creek Farm Page

I’ve been shamefully neglecting my Norton Creek Farm Web page. This is the Web page aimed at folks who are interested in buying our farm products, as opposed to raising their own.

So it’s actually up to date for once, and has some good info on it, including where to buy our free-range eggs and pastured broilers. (Hint: The Corvallis Wednesday Farmers’ Market has moved.)

And the page doubles as a dollar-off coupon if you print it out and bring it to the Farmers’ Market.

In other news, Corvallis has rung down the curtain on its free downtown Wi-Fi network, much to my disgust. How am I supposed to keep the kids from each other’s throats without Wi-Fi? I bought all those laptops for a reason! I am looking into alternatives… read more...