We're having our first go at bringing in our flock to till up 2000 sq ft. of a winter rye/vetch/clover mix. We have a flock of ten (8 hens, 2 roosters) and we will be rotating them in zones within the cover crop with electronetting. I'm curious if anyone out there has experience or anecdotal knowledge of effective timing, so that we get the birds onto the cover crop before any of it goes to seed in the spring (here in Western North Carolina) and early enough that it can rest before we plant (corn) in it. I also want to generate the maximum amount of biomass for the flock to incorporate before I send them in. I'm going to see how well they can scratch in biochar (mixed with manure) this year, too.
You have to wait until the winterrye blossom otherwise it will just try to grow back for 2+ yrs from stored energy in its root.
The above info is if you are going to mow/till/cut it. Your mileage may vary with the bird.
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