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Hayfield Restoration With Chickens: The Exciting Results Can Be Seen From Space!

It is March 18th here in Vermont, and while all the bitter dispositions of Vermonters are slowly warming, the temperature outside is decidedly not. It is an 18° Windsday today—the wind is cutting straight through wool, beards, and bone. It turned out to be fortunate, however, that the weather is so bitter, because had it been pleasant—and had I been outside—I would not have discovered the subject of today’s blog post: Chickens in SPACE!!!

While I sat inside, doing some computer work, and longing to see the green days of summer in Vermont, I opened up Google Earth. Google’s old satellite photos of the farm are lush and green and warm. They’re quite rejuvenating to see. Except…the old images were gone. They’d been replaced by new satellite images—ones that clearly showed the effects of our chicken experiment! And that’s incredibly rejuvenating!

The three images above were taken in September of 2014. We had JUST mowed the hayfields so the green stripes aren’t quite as pronounced as they would have been had the photos been taken in August when the un-chicken’d grass was yellowing. I’ve included photos of this in earlier posts, but I’ll post them here again just for the sake of clarity and fly-by readers.

Last year, we were able to fertilize/sanitize/rejuvenate over 7,000 square feet (0.16 acres) of hay field with just 100 chickens. This year, we’re hoping to have 700 birds rejuvenate 49,000 square feet (1.12 acres) of hay field. Down the road, if our chicken continues to sell, I hope we can get up to 435,600 square feet (10 acres) per year.