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Growing grass in coop run?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
So I just got a new coop since we are adding to our flock. We have a problem with predators that dig, such as raccoons and coyotes and opossums. So I have to have the bottom of the run have welded wire grate on the bottom. I was wondering if anyone has ever tried growing grass through the welded wire, so chickens can have grass in their run. I hate when they are stuck in a wet muddy run when it rains. And the grass would make for easy cleaning and plenty of food for them to eat aside from feed.
If I try it I'll let everyone know what happened. But if someone already has, I would appreciate some pointers.
post #2 of 6

Never had it done but it should work with no problem. Keep us posted on how it goes.

post #3 of 6

I don't have wire under my run inside, but I did put a hardware cloth skirt partway up, folded it outward at the bottom to make an apron, and secured it with landscape fabric.  We were going to put heavy rock all around it, but we procrastinated.  The grass around the run grew right up through the hardware fabric and it basically "disappeared"!  It still does it's job...our English Setter Molly got overexcited the first day the chicks were let into the run.  She paced and paced, and then decided she'd just dig under.  Yeah, um, didn't work so well for her.  She broke and bloodied a toenail, look back over her shoulder at the chicks like it was all their fault, and never bothered them again!!  Ken can mow right over it up to the very edge of the run which deprives smaller critters places to hide, no tall grass OR rock crevices.  So we are happy we did it that way.

post #4 of 6

Are you talking about having hardware cloth on top of the ground in the run?  I tried to have two runs to alternate while the other grew up but what I found out is they chew it down so fast (like 1 day) that you have to reseed every time and wait a month or so.  My solution was kind of like a walk on grow box so the chickens couldn't chew it down to bare dirt.  They can only reach enough to keep the plants trimmed just like when you mow your yard.  

 

Heres a pic

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/content/type/61/id/6849430/

post #5 of 6

I would not put wire on the ground in the run, they will scratch at it and hurt their feet/toes..... 

.....unless you cover it up with deep (8"+) litter, which will take care of your mud problem.

 

If you want greens for chooks to nibble in confinement look at grazing frames.

 

1/2" hardware cloth for grass-like leaved plants(sod and grains)

1 x 2" fencing for larger leaved plants.

When fresh planting seed I stack a second frame on top until roots are established or they pull the whole plant out.

 

I like the one at the top best and am converting the others over.

Ripped a half inch off the 2x4's and used it to cover mesh edges to avoid cut feet and subsequent infection (bumblefoot).


Edited by aart - 3/1/16 at 2:43pm

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #6 of 6

<smacks head>  I missed the whole darn question again, didn't I?  Can I blame the  morphine and the nitro, even if that was a week ago?

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