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Mob Grazing With Chickens

By   /  June 24, 2013  /  1 Comment

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Forrest's 1,100 "mob" of free-range egg-layers.

Forrest’s 1,100 “mob” of free-range egg-layers.

Maybe you don’t have enough land to raise cattle, sheep or pigs.  Maybe you’re thinking about diversifying your operation.  In either case you’ll want to check out Forrest Pritchard’s latest blog post.  In it he describes how to use electric netting to create long narrow stretches of pasture that chickens can graze and trample as effectively as other livestock graze and trample their larger pastures.  The electric fences protect the chickens from foxes, coyotes, opossums, skunks and raccoons and the long, narrow shape of the pastures makes it difficult for raptor predators to nab prey as well.

Example of a field trampled by chickens.  Photo by Forrest Pritchard.

Example of a field trampled by chickens. Photo by Forrest Pritchard.

Forrest shares tips on how to teach even so-called lazy birds, like the fast-growing meat birds, to graze as a mob.  He also shares how he sets up his pasture rotations and how he rests the pastures to make sure that all the nutrients the birds leave behind go toward improving the soil and making great forage.

Don’t miss this great video, Free Range Chickens, Smith Meadows Style.  Forrest talks about his free-range egg-laying operation, with quick looks at the feeders, the guard dog, and the hutches he uses.

Free Range Chickens, Smith Meadows Style from Smith Meadows on Vimeo.

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About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.

1 Comment

  1. John Utter says:

    Whoo hoo! Thanks for this article! I’m going to share it with others right now!

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