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Chickens other poultry negative impact on pasture?

 
Michael Dierne
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Thinking about giving running cattle a try on the old family place using high density grazing (ala Greg Judy). I thought that having a portable chicken coop to place after the cows are done with an area might be a good idea but.. and forgive me, this might be a ridiculous question. Does anyone have an idea how much of a negative impact a rather large group of chickens might have on the benificial insect population? Earth worms, dung beetles and such? Maybe someone has experience with them on a smaller scale in gardens? I like the idea of using them to clean up any parasites in the pasture and I'd assume this benifit would outweigh any negative impact they'd have...
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
Posts: 1401
Location: Midlands, South Carolina Zone 7b/8a
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My personal rule of thumb: If the the soil is bare then there are too many animals - or they have been left in one spot too long.

I need to research this a bit more but I believe the problems that we have from 'runoff' - where animal feces contaminates local water sources - is due to animals concentrated in areas where there is no vegetation.

So if I am correct then as long as the animals are moved while there is still a covering of vegetation then the area should not be negatively impacted. The area can rest, and from what I have seen, grow back more lush than before.

I would love to see some more discussion here about run-off and the effect of overgrazing. I think it is a common problem that many of us are learning to deal with. Especially those of us with small pieces of property who are trying to learn how many animals that we can raise sustainably.
 
Jay Green
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Wil Saint wrote:Thinking about giving running cattle a try on the old family place using high density grazing (ala Greg Judy). I thought that having a portable chicken coop to place after the cows are done with an area might be a good idea but.. and forgive me, this might be a ridiculous question. Does anyone have an idea how much of a negative impact a rather large group of chickens might have on the benificial insect population? Earth worms, dung beetles and such? Maybe someone has experience with them on a smaller scale in gardens? I like the idea of using them to clean up any parasites in the pasture and I'd assume this benifit would outweigh any negative impact they'd have...


You might want to check out Joel Salatin's pastured poultry book...it has great info and ideas. I'm not a big fan of the man personally or some of his actual farming practices but his books are spot on. The beneficial bug population are rather encouraged by this gleaning of their numbers and the chickens leave behind manure to attract and feed them as they repopulate as you move the chickens off the worked pasture and onto fresh forage.
 
Walter Jeffries
Posts: 1085
Location: Mountains of Vermont, USDA Zone 3
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We have about 400 pigs on pasture. That's the equivelant of about 100 cattle. We run about 100 to 300 chickens with them along with some ducks and geese. The poultry are a positive influence on the pasture. I don't raise chickens to sell. I raise pigs to sell. The purpose of the poultry is to act as organic pest control and they break apart the manure patties.Cheers,

-Walter Jeffries
Sugar Mountain Farm
Pastured Pigs, Sheep & Kids
in the mountains of Vermont
http://SugarMtnFarm.com/
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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