building a chicken "grass salad bar" in the run.

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

  1. mudpaw

    mudpaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    West Point, GA
    I know I saw a post at one point mentioning building a wood fame with hardware cloth across the top and planting grass underneath, thus creating an area where the chickens can eat grass, but not scratch it up or pull it out at the root. Has anyone actually done this? My chickens don't have access to grass at all times (they obliterated it in the run quickly, as usual) and a few of them will now screech until I let them out to free range (I actually got in a little trouble for allowing them to free range in my fenced yard the majority of the time-stupid I know, but this town is so backwards at times-They had gotten spoiled being out everyday-now they get the majority if a day two or three times a week). I found out, sort of accidentally(I cut some bamboo down and tossed a few small stalks in the run, they just loved eating it), if I give them some greenery to nibble they seem content and much quieter. Hope that makes sense :> So, have anyone made one? If so, any pics? Thanks in advance!!!
     
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    All you need to do is make a 2x4 frame, any size that you'd like. Just cut four pieces of wood and nail or screw them together. Then the hardware cloth is attached on top, at the edges, any way you want. Staples, a strip of wood nailed over the edge, screws through washers, anything will work.

    You could attach hardware cloth to any type of frame that would support it, really.

    The other thing you can use are those heavy rigid garden flats that are built like plastic milk crates, with the plastic grid for the sides and bottom, turned upside down. You just need something that the grass can grow through.

    You can also use cheap plastic garden flats and just plant grass in them. Or you can plant any kind of container with any kind of dark leafy greens. After they've grown, you can pop them into the run to be eaten and take them back out to recover and grow back.

    Some people have planted larger things in the run, like bushes, surrounded by fencing with large holes. The chickens can reach through to nibble on the foliage, but not eat it down to nothing or scratch up the roots.
     
  3. mudpaw

    mudpaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thanks for the other ideas :> So anyone actually done this with good success?
     
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    There are pictures that have been posted in the past, showing grass protectors. You can try doing some searches.
     
  5. wolfandfinch

    wolfandfinch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are there resources somewhere simple about what chickens *shouldn't* eat?

    I see you are an urban chicken-keeper, I'll be one soon too! Why can't they free-range if they have a secure run to go back to when necessary and at dusk etc?
     
  6. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use wire baskets truned up side down and it works. I've got to try the wood frame and hardware cloth idea. Sounds like a good idea.
     
  7. alicefelldown

    alicefelldown Looking for a broody

    Aug 18, 2008
    I built a salad bar outside the run - the girls were able to eat plenty of it through the fence, and I had enough spinach for myself (and hand feeding them).

    Easier to build than the kind they can walk on top of.
     
  8. Spookwriter

    Spookwriter Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Crazy as it may sound, I've actually bought sod in the past
    for the coop.

    At $2.00 a 2 foot by 4 foot section, it wasn't bad for the fun they had.
    Kentucky Blue grass.

    At different times I've also given them tubs of sand and tubs of topsoil
    bought just for them.
     
  9. ChickenLoverChrista

    ChickenLoverChrista Out Of The Brooder

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    I can barely wait until can I spoil my girl........ starting the only count down.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. mudpaw

    mudpaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Congrats! I'm sure you'll love it!
    Where I live, the city told me they had to be in a pen at all times (I'm in the city, just a few blocks from the downtown area-though this is a small town). I really don't see how my securely fenced back yard is considered being "on the loose", but I don't want to ruffle any more feathers than I already have (a messy situation-they told me I could have them, then animal control showed up months later telling me I had only days to get rid of them, then they called and said I could keep them, but they had to be in a pen at all times and 50' from the property lines -actually not possible on my lot, but they let me by at around 30'-40'). We also have a large majority of "upper crust" elderly who think they should control very aspect if everything that goes on here. They are quick to complain about EVERYTHING. So, yeah... I'm legal, but just barely and I try to stay under the radar when I can :>
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011

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