Can 3 chickens live in a coop/run with no fresh grass?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dbg99, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. dbg99

    dbg99 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 28, 2011
    Hi there just want to know something about urban chickens - i'm looking at putting coop/run in backyard - I have a perfect place for it, but once it's set up I won't be able to move the coop? Do chickens always need access to live grass, or can i give them clippings periodically? I won't be able to let them out of the coop as too many escape routes in the backyard. Thanks.
    1 person likes this.
  2. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    Fresh greens and grass clippings are fine, as long as you offer grit. Most of our runs don't have grass, either.
  3. DancingHen

    DancingHen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    Central Oregon Coast
    When my chickens are in the run I just throw them greens. When I weed the yard I put them all in a bucket and dump it in the run. Or I grow a little bed of greens (lettuce, cabbage, spinach, radish, etc.) for the chickens and throw a handleful to them as much as possible. You can give them grass clippings too, but make sure the clippings are short as longer grass can be difficult for them to get down and digest. Good luck.
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    No chicken run has grass in it for very long. In any confined space, chickens will eat grass down to the roots (and below) in no time. It is important to make sure the run is large enough for the number of chickens in it (not less than 10 square feet per bird, and more is much better), and that you provide "enrichment" activities. For chickens, I think this primarily means providing them opportunities to scratch and look for food. I bag and save leaves in the fall and have found that a bag of dry leaves dumped in the run is excellent chicken entertainment. I also use a day tractor so our flock does get out on grass most days. And for the days they don't get out, I clip up leaves of romaine or swiss chard in the run for them to peck at. Since we are now getting way more eggs than we can eat, I also feed back hardboiled egg to the flock in their treat pan and toss down a handful of scratch in the run for them to hunt for.
  5. goldminer1976

    goldminer1976 New Egg

    Apr 4, 2011
    Clippings are good, however having a variety is better. Weeds, garden greens and clover pulled up all offer the dietary supplements necessary for good health and egg production. A little sunshine and a good dust bath area keep them happy. I designed some portable panels eight feet long 4 ft high out of 2x4s and poultry wire that can be tied together with small ropes. Set up the panels next to the house and let a few chickens have at it they will debug your house and get the veggies that they thrive on. Make sure you have no toxic plants they will eat near the house.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  6. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    I cut with my mulching blades and bag at the same time. Keeps the pieces of grass small...don't want to accidentally incur a crop problem with long blades. I put that in the run first in the AM when they are let out. They free range a few hours later...after the daily initial hawk flyovers.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
  7. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    The chickens will eat the grass from the run in no time flat [​IMG] its what they do. I let mine into the yard to free range when I can watch them. I also let them have my kitchen scraps, scatter some scratch in the run, and keep boards in the run that I flip over from time to time so they can eat the bugs that move in underneath them. Forage cakes are also good, you can make your own or by them at the tsc. My chickens love them [​IMG]

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