I've heard that chickens will take away all of the cover crops, and was wondering if there's any type of cover that will survive chickens.

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    Like your other question, this one has too little information. What is the density of the chickens per area? Are they out all day? – user2451 Jul 28 '16 at 8:43

At least within permaculture chickens are employed to get rid of any weeds and other types of hardy plants. I dare say that "all cover crops" really means all cover crops. Don't let chickens near your cover crops.

If you still want to use chickens in your forest make a movable chicken coop (a chicken tractor) of a decent (big) size and see what they do to your crops in a couple of hours. To minimize the damage, I would probably try something like potato (tubers) or root vegetables like beets or turnip first.

Even if they turn out to damage your crop, you can still move the tractor over unused areas, which will help keep unused parts of your forest clean (and prepare the soil for future planting).

  • I want to employ chickens as my forest keepers, but need to know what cover crop will work for them well. – a coder Jul 28 '16 at 15:08
  • I'm looking to do fairly permanent coops, because I believe 10,000 chickens on 100 acres supplementing their feed with fallen fruit would work well. – a coder Jul 28 '16 at 16:53
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    10,000 chickens is a lot. You've already posted a bunch of questions, but maybe you want to asking about the scalability of permaculture or about a sustainable way to raise 10,000 chickens. Like Jan Doggen pointed out in the comments, please try to put as much information as possible (up to a reasonable level) into your question, to avoid the back and forth on the answers. – Earthliŋ Jul 28 '16 at 18:20
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    @acoder With 10,000 chickens on a mere 100 acres, your food forest floor will be bare soil. I suggest you try 100 chickens on an acre, you'll see that nothing will be left. Even 50 is probably too many. It doesn't have as much to do with how much food is available from the trees, as it does their instinct to scratch at the ground for food or digging to dirt-bathe. – Daniel Jul 31 '16 at 12:21
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    @acoder You need to research that. My understanding is that wetland conditions are harmful to chickens, they can become quickly diseased. Certainly, my own flock is quite miserable when it is continuously wet for even a few days. While it is true that chickens love to play in water puddles... Chickens really love to sun-bathe and chickens love to and need to dirt-bathe (fine, dry, powdery dirt). – Daniel Aug 1 '16 at 12:12

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