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Can I Maintain Grass In My Run ?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gsim, Oct 17, 2009.

  1. gsim

    gsim Songster

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    I have 24 pullets and my run is 2000 sq ft. Coop is 8 x 16. I have grass there, but now that fall is well underway, the crab grass is dying off. I recently fenced 1/3 of the pen off and cultivated and seeded, being that it was largely bare after building the coop, etc. Ky 31 fescue and creeping red fescue as there is some shade there. It is coming in like gangbusters and I have already fed it only a week after seeding it. Am wondering if I need to reduce my flock say, by 1/3 to keep the grass there in season once the new part has grown in? I do not need 24 chooks for sure, so am wondering about all of this. I have been told that no grass will be there eventually, no matter what. Is that right?

    Would like to see grass there always for fresh live greens and calcium for the chooks, plus ground bugs like cover and will not enter a bare pen from cover.

  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Crowing

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    In my experience, chickens are REALLY hard on grass. The last time I kept them I had only 2 hens and the run was 12x12 and they still reduced it to mud in no time flat.
  3. Amethyste

    Amethyste For Love of Boo...

    They are amazing litlle creatures...their feet can destroy a yard in no time flat.

    We had grass....HAD being operative word lol My husband has actually toyed with the idea of building them a tractor next year to drag them around to thatch the lawn for us lol
  4. twentynine

    twentynine Songster

    Jun 14, 2009
    I am currently experimenting with the same thing.
    600 sq ft divided into 3 equal 200 sq ft areas. Before putting my 10 chickens in I planted turnips, rape, rye grass and clover. I had complete groung coverage with the turnips and rape being shin high.
    Added chickens. Day 1 they reduced the first area significantly. So much so, that by the end of the second day I moved them to the next area. Once again 2 days. Third area 2 days.
    Now it was only 6 total days grass in the first area had not regeneratedn never the less, over they went.
    By the end of week two, I decided that I would need a huge amount of ground to make my idea work.
    I replanted areas 1 and 2 confining chickens to area 3. Next Wed. I will move them to area 2 and 1 day later to area 3. They will have been confined to area 3 for 1 month area 3 is a waste landm

    The next step I made was plant rape and turnips outside of the run. I can harvest to feed them when needed.
    I figured after a few days they would slow down on eating the green stuff--- nope not them Chickens.
    Sorry about mis-spellins and such. Using balckberry this AM. For some reason what I am posting is not showing up as I enter it. Just the first few words then it runs off the rght side of the screen never to be seen again.
  5. RevaVirginia

    RevaVirginia Songster

    Apr 26, 2009
    Reva, VA
    Thats pretty much correct. But!! If you have or know someone close by with obsessive compulsive disorder..who knows?
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    I can't even get grass back in our back yard.... [​IMG] they got rid of it all a year ago and I just can't get it back.... I had a very frustrating year..........
  7. lorihadams

    lorihadams Songster

    Sep 17, 2008
    no. [​IMG]

  8. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    One of the more experienced chicken people here recommends 450 sf per bird. Can't remember who it is. I have 4 hens on about 3000 sf of grass and it's fine. I actually throw the scratch in the mossy areas and let them demoss the yard. They help but can't keep up with the moss.

  9. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I asked the same question about a month or so ago, and got mixed responses (my 5 have a little over 100 sq. feet each...575 sq. ft. total). Obviously, the more space they have the better your chances are. So if you can downside your flock, that would give you a better shot. Mine are still babies, and only have limited access to the run due to their age, so they haven't made a dent on the grass yet. Spring will be the real test though...
    But to give you hope, several people (who had large runs) reported that they were able to keep most of their grass...
  10. thecochincoop

    thecochincoop Songster

    short answer no, not when the grass stops growing. I HAD grass untill fall and then it became mud

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