We keep the chickens in a mobile coop. We move it everyday. It means new grass for chickens, protection from predators, and eggs always where they belong. Also, they fertilize the grass.
This past year we ran an experiment where the chicken tractors spent most of their time in the yard. The hypothesis is that more fertilizer on the lawn encourages grass growth. Grass growing blocks the stickers from ruining all barefoot activities.
Year 1 was a partial success. There was at least a 50% reduction in time of stickers wrecking the place. The peak season was still just a numerous, but the duration was shortened by weeks on the front and the back ends.
Sometimes you just look at a historical path of chickens in tractors and say wow. This stretch of green patches in the pasture is one of these. The closest patch in the foreground was where the chickens spent a day about 3 weeks ago, and each patch moving away is one subsequent day less, with a u turn at the end. You can see the start of the green shading in front of Jenny coming back to the right.
Next year we’re going to try and run meat chickens in larger numbers in a pasture, and I’m interested to see what grass acceleration we can get from them that the cows can harvest with stronger grass growth on a marginal area.