Hello fellow permies. I hve what might be a fairly basic question. I have a sizable area, approx 2-3 acres worth, that I would like to start preparing the soil with a cover crop for the first few years while I decide on which plants, their arrangement and grow out the areas. The cover crop mix I have decided on is a mixture of sunflower, buckwheat, cowpea, and clovers. Now I also have a bunch of chickens (22 of them) and I would like to employ them if possible. I have looked, read and researched and it seems that Justin Rhodes has done this as has Geoff Lawton. The both have said and "shown" that if you put the chickens in an area they will devegetate and liightly till the surface and you can plant seed afterward. I believe the number Mr Rhodes gives is about 50 sqft per chicken if the chicken stays in the same area for a few weeks. Now I have tried this. I have built a 50 sqft chicken tractor and placed the chickens in the same area for several weeks the best they were able to do was to deveg the area and pack the clay a little harder. I tried to broadcast the seed and tried seedballs after the chickens were through neither took. I had to doubledig the area and reseed and things took and started growing after that. Am I missing something? The soil is pretty much clay where I live and I was hoping to avoid the use of a tiller even for a one time thing. On the other hand double digging 3 acres doesn't seem practical either. how can I or is it even possible to get the chickens to do this for me as does Geoff and Justin?