2 Questions - Pea Stone/Gravel Safe? Grass Possible?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ksrchicks, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. ksrchicks

    ksrchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Hello - I am first time chicken Mom and we put the finishing touches on the chicken run this weekend! My 4 girls are 6 weeks old. The run is 20 x 8 and I have also fenced under their coop which is 8 x 4 for shade and protection from the weather as we live in NH. We put pea stone/gravel (the kind used on playgrounds) on the area just under the coop because we had it on hand and needed something to backfill the trench dug to bury the hardware cloth. I also thought it would be good for drainage and have since read here that sand seems to be preferred. After we did this I got to thinking/worrying that the pea stone may not be safe. My questions:

    1) Is the pea stone safe to use on 8 x 4 area? Will they try to eat pebbles that are too big or is this not a concern?

    2) The 20 x 8 area is currently grass. With 4 chickens any chance of it staying this way? Would it be best to just fill with sand now to avoid it turning muddy or wait and see?

    Thanks everyone for your advice!
     
  2. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    I use pea-sized gravel all over on the paths and entrances to the runs and such. It is perfectly safe for the chickens and they will not eat anything that it too big for them. As a matter of fact, as your girls get full grown, these pea-sized gravel bits will be perfect gizzard stones! So I would leave them be.

    As for the grass, over time that grass will get eaten down to the nub. However I would leave it be so that at least they will have some enjoyment out of it. Grass is one of a chickens favorite grazing food and they will stampede out the coop door every morning to get right to that grass!

    Good luck with your new babies! [​IMG]
     
  3. ksrchicks

    ksrchicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2011
    Thanks so much for your advice, I really appreciate it. I was envisioning them trying to eat the pea stone when they were still little. I put them out today and they loved the run and even though they pecked at the pea stone, nobody actually ate it. They did actually catch a few bugs and also pulled up blades of grass and ran around with that [​IMG]. So I will take your advice and leave the grass as long as it lasts. Thanks again!!
     

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