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Chickens and Grass?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by kimmypie, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. kimmypie

    kimmypie Songster

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    Sep 1, 2010
    Utah
    We don't have any chickens yet, but I'm hoping to get 2 or 3 next spring. My big question is, will they destroy our lawn? We have 4 kids 7 and under, so the lawn gets played on a lot. I don't really have a spot to dedicate to a coop so we were thinking about a chicken tractor that we move around every couple days. Will they destroy the grass though? And does their poop sit on top of the grass like our dogs does? The kids run around back there and don't really take care where they step because we have the dog trained to do his business in one area.

    Thanks! (and I hope this is in the right section)
     

  2. ninjascrub69

    ninjascrub69 Songster

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    if your yards big enough and you let them free range, it wont pile up. it will actually help fertelize the grass [​IMG]
     
  3. kimmypie

    kimmypie Songster

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    I can't let them free range all of the time because of the dog and also the garden doesn't have any barriers so I wouldn't want chickens to get in there, but would moving the tractor around every few days help with that?
     
  4. SunnysideupstateNY

    SunnysideupstateNY Songster

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    I move mine every day with six girls, their poop does add up when they're in there all day. The only thing they do to the yard is dig a dust bath but thats b/c I don't provide one for them. When they were younger and I kept them closer to the house I could take the hose and wash the poop down into the grass. If you only had three it might not be that bad!
     
  5. Chickenfarmer 1-2-b

    Chickenfarmer 1-2-b Songster

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    Oct 28, 2009
    I had 4 small chickens in the playpen converted into the brooder. They destroyed my bermuda grass even if I move them daily. I am not sure about other type of grass such as St. augustine.

    Andy
     
  6. kimmypie

    kimmypie Songster

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    Utah
    Quote:So they dig up the grass to get to the dirt? How do you provide a dust bath? My whole backyard is reachable by the hose, so I could spray it down if it would easily get into the grass.
     
  7. moetrout

    moetrout Songster

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    Milan, MI
    Fine dirt in a shallow tupperware or some other plastic container will serve as a dust bath.
     

  8. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    You aren't likely to need to worry about 2 or 3. It depends on how long you leave the tractor in one place. We had a temporary pen for 2 weeks holding 80 chickens (so we could safely take trees down around their coops). They dug a few "holes" so they could dust bathe....kept the grass down in the pen, yet didn't wear it down. The lawn in what was the temporary pen now grows twice as fast as the rest of the lawn and has a "deep blue" tint to it! There are spots that haven't fully come back, yet. If allowed, your chickens will wear your lawn down to nothing. But managing them will help your lawn. Yes their poop lays on top of the grass...and it can also get compacted. You can rake it up and put it in your compost if needed. This is going to sound gross, but your dog might end up eating the chicken poop! We seem to find ourselves yelling at our dogs to STOP and leave it! [​IMG] Ewww. Your 2 to 3 chickens should be a breeze to manage, and you could have the best looking lawn in the process!
     
  9. Muggsmagee

    Muggsmagee Menagerie Mama

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    Quote:This is a good idea. We used my kids' old turtle sandbox...filled it with sand. Some chickens chose the box to dust bathe in...some chose to dig the lawn up anyway! [​IMG]
     
  10. WhetzelMomma

    WhetzelMomma Songster

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    When I lived in the city, I had three hens. They pooped a LOT, but if I moved the pen everyday, they wouldn't ruin the grass.
    One thing that you might try to HELP with that, is to put larger chicken wire on the bottom of the tractor. That's what I did, and it keeps them from being able to scratch up as much grass and dirt. The poo still pretty much goes through it, because it's not small enough to keep it in. I tried hosing poo into the grass, and I found that it made the flies worse. I started raking up the poo instead, and that worked a LOT better. Good luck!
     

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