How Many Chickens Per Acre?

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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. Read more...

Rats on the Pasture!

Karen and Dan were moving a batch of pullets from the brooder house onto the pasture one evening, and saw three rats scurrying around. You know what that means: if you see three in the open, there must be thirty in hiding somewhere!

We usually don’t have much trouble with rats on the pasture. Our chicken feed is in big galvanized range feeders outdoors, and we move the feeders each time we refill them. Any rats who take up residence in tunnels under the feeders have their tunnels exposed when the feeders are moved. Something — probably owls — takes care of the rest. Read more...