Observations after one week on pasture

Bare patch in the pastureOne week after being
introduced to their new pasture, the chickens have scratched up perhaps
a fifth of the area to bare soil.  I estimate that this pasture is
about 700 square feet, so our chickens are at a stocking density of 140
square feet per chicken — amazing that they can make such a large
impact in such a short time!  The
minimum pasture standard
would keep them on this
pasture for 14 weeks, but we’ll probably rotate them to a new patch of
ground in another week or two.  I want the flock to do a little
more damage first, though, because I have plans for those patches of
bare ground.

Chickens at the gateI was a bit concerned that so
few birds in such a large pasture would spend all of their time sitting
beside the coop.  So I had Mark install the gate at the opposite
end of the pasture and have been feeding the chickens their morning
rations, food scraps, and wheelbarrow loads of weeds right inside the
gate.  This has split the chickens’ interest, and they seem to
spend time pretty evenly throughout the pasture (and always come
running to the gate when I get close.)  I wonder how big a pasture
would have to be before chickens would ignore the extreme edges?

Our chicken waterer keeps the flock well
hydrated during a long day of scratching for bugs.

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