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run management

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi all-

I've been lurking and reading for months, but we're in the end stages of finishing our setup and I have a question about managing my run. 

Our coop is almost done (8x12) and we're planning on a large run-- at least 80x16, possibly 80x32.

The "plan" is for 12 dual purpose birds (though from all the posts I've read it's very likely I'll accumulate more!)
I know the size of the run will be more than sufficient, (we're going for  a "controlled free-range" setup) but I'm wondering if I should section some of it off-- like a modified paddock system, or if thats even necessary considering the hen:sq ft ratio we're going to have?

If I don't cordon some it off will they have it all scratched up and bare in a matter of months?
Can that be mitigated somewhat by supplementing a little more with commercial feed?

We live on a farm in northern Ohio, so space isn't an issue-- it's our dog with a high prey drive that necessitates the run. Well, that and my vegetable garden, flower beds, grapes and melon patch. ;-)




post #2 of 3

Welcome to BYC, your birds will love that coop enough room for 24  wow wish I had that much room. The paddock idea is good but for 16 feet wide how would you cordon it off? I don't think that the separation will be necessary though because you have enough room in your run for 128 birds it shouldn't go bare anytime soon. What do you mean by the commercial feed supplementation, like supplementing with different things (like BOSS, kelp, soybean meal) or what? layer ration should be out whether in the coop or in the run free choice 24/7 however much they want they will take. 

post #3 of 3
In my brief experience, throwing bags full of lawn clippings seems to slow the damage to the turf... build a layer they can scratch in and still lets water and light in to the weeds that make up the yard. Dunno how long it will last, but if your concern is just for them to be able to eat off of scratching then supplemental lawn clippings will likely help.

If it gets too thin in there maybe some of the throw and grow food plot stuff hunters use can help keep stuff in the ground.
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