A friend recently asked me how the chickens had done over winter, and particularly what state the grass was in? Grass of course tends to go dormant during the colder months and doesn’t grow back if heavily scratched and pecked at by inquisitive chooks. His reason for asking was that his family were considering taking on some rescued battery hens, but that he would let them roam free on his lawn during the day. Heh. Grins.
As you see, not a lot of grass left. Chickens are brighter than you might think, and love to explore their environment. By nature they also scratch for their food, even when presented with a brimming feeder. Thus by spring the ground is a little tired, excavated and muddy!
The four girls that are currently living here have approximately 35m2 of free ranging space to play with. That’s a little more than a battery hen is used to. Battery hens can be squashed as many as seventeen to the square metre meaning I could, conceivably (if I was a complete bastard), get nearly six hundred birds into this run… Boggling, isn’t it? I don’t think the grass would have much of a chance then, even in high summer (and it certainly would be high, with that number of chickens!).
Oh, the stalks are what is left of sprouts once the girls have had their way with them! Some of our sprouts opened on the stalk before we got around to picking them this year, so we donated them. Very fond of sprouts, are chickens…