Chicken pasture shape

Trampled pasture

Chick on pasture

Shape is an important
factor to take into account when planning a permanent pasture for
chickens.  We’ve had a mother hen and her brood in the L-shaped
chicken pasture 4 for about six weeks now, and they’ve worked hard at
trampling down and eating the weeds right in front of the coop. 
(See above.)

However, their
depredations end abruptly as you turn the corner of the pasture. 
Here’s what it looks like just ten feet from where I took the top photo:

Grown up pasture

Turken chickPart of that difference in
grazing is simply due to the fact that, until they were a month old,
the chicks were so tiny that the pasture was way too big for
them.  Every night, their crops would be full to busting just from
hunting on the door step, so why wander out of sight of Mom in the deep

But even when I added
the rest of our adult flock to the pasture in mid July, the hens were
eschewing the far corner.  Luckily, the problem was easy to fix
— start throwing weeds and kitchen scraps  in a compost pile at
the pasture’s far end and add a
chicken waterer, and suddenly even the
chicks want to check it out.

The moral of the story
is — either make your pastures linear or add a point of interest at
the hidden end if you want them grazed evenly.  (Or both.)

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