Can you ever have grass with chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by BubbaLikesIt, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. BubbaLikesIt

    BubbaLikesIt Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    6
    83
    Feb 9, 2013
    The chickens have eaten every blade of grass we had in our back yard. The forage everyday and have managed to consume all plants in the yard except for two trees. We feed our chickens like royalty but they like to scratch and dig. Is there a grass or ground cover that chickens don't like?
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I have 14 hens in a 70' x 70' yard. They eat the grass in it, but leave several other types of "weed" plants, such as dog fennel. so that we have to mow the yard a few times every summer to keep it at reasonable heights. They eat grass through the fence, and new sprouts as they come up.
     
  3. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

    278
    65
    110
    Oct 29, 2014
    Ireland
    No there isn't
    You can cover the ground with chicken wire to stop them digging
    If you have a big garden you balance the number of your chickens to the area of your garden
     
  4. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,858
    7,019
    596
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    If you do this you can: :D

    [​IMG]
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    9,966
    2,958
    421
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    Well, yes you can if you plant the right kind of grass, and make sure it's established before you let the chickens have their way with it.

    The secret to having grass and chickens is to plant dryland pasture bunch grasses in lieu of European sod grasses. The bunch grasses have very deep root systems while the sod grasses have very shallow roots, making the later vulnerable to chicken feet scratching the roots out of the soil.

    I'm lucky to have native bunch grasses surrounding my place, and my chickens are busy right now eating the new, tender green shoots right down to the soil level, but their busy little feet aren't able to dig up the roots, so my grass is chicken-proof, you might say.[​IMG]
     
  7. Richard49

    Richard49 New Egg

    2
    0
    6
    Mar 22, 2015
    I have buffalo grass which is a range grass here in Kansas. I just turned my dwindling flock on to it last year and they were too busy eating all of the grasshoppers to worry about the grass. I'll keep everyone informed by posting later this spring. I sure hope they kill everything in the yard but the Buffalo grass
     
  8. Richard49

    Richard49 New Egg

    2
    0
    6
    Mar 22, 2015
    I have buffalo grass which is a range grass here in Kansas. I just turned my dwindling flock on to it last year and they were too busy eating all of the grasshoppers to worry about the grass. I'lol keep everyone informed by posting later this spring.
     
  9. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,387
    916
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    Annual or bi-annual grasses do poorly when grazed by chickens. Perennial grasses that keep coming back from the roots every year are better. However even then you will need to either restrict the number of birds on the yard or else work out a way to rotate graze.
     
  10. BubbaLikesIt

    BubbaLikesIt Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    6
    83
    Feb 9, 2013
    I guess I have some headstrong chickens (14). They live in a 1/4 acre area and have managed to eat every grass, bug, spider and mouse in the whole area. These chickens would eat ticks off a live polar bear. Their more like dinosaurs than chickens. Honestly, I got no real complaints and the eggs are wonderful.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by