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Question about field grass length in paddocks

 
Simon Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: S Ontario, Zone 6/7
38
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I was wondering if it would be better to mow the area of field where I am going to move the paddock fence to before getting the birds in there? I have to mow the outer perimeter to set the fence up, but then I'm not sure if I should leave the rest long inside the fenced in area, or take it all down. I have the birds in the fenced area shown below with the outer perimeter mowed and I did a couple drive bys through the middle just to make some paths for them. After observing the chickens, it seems that they mostly avoid the long grass parts and stick to the mowed areas. It has only been a couple days of them being in there though, so maybe I should just give it more time and continue to observe? I am also throwing food scraps in as they come, so maybe throw those in the long grass so they have to go threw it to get to the good stuff?

Any thoughts would be nice.

I have a picture below showing the field.
20140818_193304.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20140818_193304.jpg]
Paddock area and field
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1969
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I would mow it a couple of days before the chickens came on. In my field, the cut grass would attract snails and bugs, lovely delicious chicken food.

Do they have any cover from hawks? I try to always give the chickens something to hide under
 
Kate Michaud
Posts: 77
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Hi Simon.

Just curious, how many birds have you in that field, and how big is it?

I would mow pathways leaving thickets here and there for protection from predators.
My hens often go under long vegetation to feed, or hide from hawks, etc.,
Leaving thickets here and there ensures they never have far to run for protection.
Having mowed areas is easier for them to scratch for feed, my birds will also eat the grass cuttings.

Cheers! K
 
Simon Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: S Ontario, Zone 6/7
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Thanks for the input.

I do have some cover for them. I leaned some scrap chipboard and plastic sign material that was lying around against the side of the coop there making little shelter/shade spots for them. I suppose I could rig up another little makeshift shelter thing at the other end of the pen for more protection/shade. Chickens always like places to hang out under in the shade right?

There are 12 birds right now and the fence is 50m long. The fence is not placed in any particular kind of shape, so I would say the total area is a little less than 150 square meters.

Anymore thoughts on improvements or additions?
 
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