Jay and John,
(On my phone and can't quote or refer to posts to correct myself.)
Thank you for your feedback!
At a backyard fowl class offered at our state university extension office, we were told not to allow the birds access to the compost pile due to the risk of botulism!
I kept thinking, "I want my chickens to scratch my compost!" Food for thought!
My house is only 1000sqft, but we have a 1 car garage and a shed. We also have some areas we hadn't planned on running the chickens through - some pre-existing zone 5 and probably our zone 1, so the estimates are probably sound.
We have 5 mature fruit trees and 10 young ones, including a mulberry, 15 blueberry plants, a 20x10ft garden (I want to rework the garden idea), a sunchoke patch, and a lot of intention to increase perennial and annual forage in each paddock (entire yard).
I do want an area of hypersecurity for unexpected containment needs. I want a portable hutch, but may start with a stationary hutch in the secured area and move them daily in their weekly paddock and back. I do want to avoid a moonscape, unless in one sacrifice area and no free range - only I poop on my sidewalk!
I plan on using the maggot bucket on a tripod as I can, to supplement their bug needs.
Going with 1000sqft/bird = 8 birds in my yard, with 5 paddocks = 8000/5 = 1600ft paddocks.
I like the info on pecking order and the poor bird at the bottom's need for sanctuary!
It's important that I do this as well as I can, as I've been critical of friends and neighbors with backyard birds, thanks to Paul's high standards.