Best grass for chicken run?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Roward74023, Apr 9, 2017.

  1. Roward74023

    Roward74023 Out Of The Brooder

    Well, i sprayed roundup on 2 garden plots, but now decided to make one into another chicken run. Is there anything i can plant thats a nutritious green for the chickens that wont just be dead in 2 weeks from their hot manure? Maybe any other additional ideas?

    Im not 100% sure yet, but we are probably talking 15-20 sf per bird density.

    Thank you so much!
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Anything you plant---in a chicken run will be gone in a few days because the chickens will eat and scratch it up more than their Manure killing it. I could go to my chicken yards---over 60---right now and take pictures----that has not had any chickens in them in the last few months----grass is 3ft tall---makes me worry just walking in these pens----so thick beautiful green grass---might have snakes all in it---LOL. The manure for sure is not killing it----making it grow like crazy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2017
  3. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Overrun With Chickens

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    2x Nothing will stand up to their scratching & poop. I've got my RC over a pile of hard clay dirt, they are loosening it up very nicely for me to spread elsewhere.
     
  4. Roward74023

    Roward74023 Out Of The Brooder

    Thank you so much.

    Maybe im better off just retilling it once a week let em get to the worms and grubs.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    It’s not the hot manure that kills things off so quickly, they peck and eat the green stuff. And they scratch a lot. They especially like to eat things that are just sprouting.

    I can’t tell you what will happen at 20 square feet per bird. That’s going to depend on how well the turf is established, how old the chickens are (young chicks don’t do as much damage as adults), your time of the year, and weather (heat and rain). In wet warm weather grass can grow pretty fast, in a dry spell or over winter if gets wiped out pretty fast.

    One of two things will happen. They will strip it bare so nothing grows or they’ll keep the stuff they eat pretty well eaten down but the stuff they don’t like will grow and take over. I have to mow mine three or four times a year to knock down the bad stuff so the stuff they eat can grow.

    What is your native grass that they will eat, Bermuda? That’s what grows here but you are probably drier than I am. If you can get a turf established of a grass that grows well in your area and keep it watered this summer when it dries out you might keep it growing this summer, but at 20 sq ft per bird I think that will be a pretty big challenge. Thinking on mine, I don’t hold out much hope for you, but you might surprise me. The only way to find out for sure is to try.

    A couple of thoughts. If you can have two different pastures you can let the grass and other stuff recover on one while you graze the other. Alternate from one to the other. Another thing that people do is make a grazing frame. Make a frame on the ground, maybe with 2x6’s, and cover it with wire mesh, say chicken wire. When the grass and other stuff grows up through that they can eat it off without taking the roots out.
     
  6. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    If the chickens are in it----no tiller will be needed.
     
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    And without grass roots to feed on there won’t be any grubs or other creepy crawlies for them to eat. The creepy crawlies have to eat too.
     
  8. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    500 square feet of well established lawn of 50 years was decimated.
    I put 5 pullets in there the middle of May last year. By the end of July, not a blade of grass could be found.[​IMG]
    I thought for sure a hundred square feet per chicken would be enough.
    I am going to make some grazing frames soon. GC
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  9. Roward74023

    Roward74023 Out Of The Brooder

    Thanks guys!
     

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