Chickens vs. Lawn Care Products

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by onesillyme, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. onesillyme

    onesillyme New Egg

    Aug 7, 2008
    We have 5 bantams in a tractor that is moved around our 1/2 acre yard. We also have a terrible amount of moss. I've been told to put lime on the yard to lower the acidity, then moss-killer/grass fertilizer, then re-seed the yard.

    Any thoughts on whether any of this would be harmful for the chickens? If so, I can treat one part of the lawn and keep the girls in a different area. But, I have no idea how long before a treated area would be "safe" for them. Help!
  2. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    I personally wouldn't use any chemicals around my chickens! Of course, I also don't use any chemicals on my "lawn" (actually just native grass and weeds) either, anyway. I think you'll read about a lot of people on here who give up the dream of having a perfect lawn once they get into chickens... they let things "go natural." In my own opinion, if you would like to maintain your lawn, I would keep the chickens off of it permanently. The moss-killer chemicals and grass fertilizers are pretty nasty....
  3. windtryst

    windtryst Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2008
    You have moss because you have no sun. All grasses need sun to grow.. Lime would help your lawn, do not use moss killer, a waste of $$$ rake the moss up & re-seed with a grass seed that will tolerate shade. Until you can improve the sunlite, you will have to re do your lawn every spring or fall...
  4. Pug Momma

    Pug Momma Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 31, 2009
    Auburn, WA
    I agree about the no sun thing. I live in the NW too, and I have moss in both front and back of my 1/4 acre. I gave up a long time ago and just sling the dirty looks back at my neighbors and relish the fact that I am not pumping chemicals into the ground that will eventually wind up in my own body tissues.
    That being said - I put my girls in a makeshift coup and they scratched up lawn and moss looking for yum-yums. I wouldn't put any synthetic stuff on the lawn, not only because it hurts the environment, but because they may get to it. I do know that if I rotate the girls, my weeding problem will probably be taken care of because they eat weed seeds.
    I say go-natural! (But probably because I am LAZY!)
  5. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    I'd do lime but not chemicals. Why do people want so badly to nuke their lawns and try to make those artificial carpets anyway? The "yard" here has never been planted with grass seed. 50years ago it was a working farm and then as the owners grew older and the animals were sold or passed on they paid someone to mow a certain area. Kept mowed the natural hardy grasses and ground covers took over to create an indestructible mix of lush green with patches of color from short growing wildflowers. I think all the color and variety looks wonderful but it gives my stepdad a heart attack. He's all for 100% uniform lawn with every grass blade being the same thing at the exact same height.
  6. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    lol! That my same experience - lush carpet of native, wild grasses with all kinds of wildflowers (some say "weeds") scattered throughout. Some spots have moss. When we bought the house last Spring, the garage came stocked with a truckload of nasty yard chemicals and the yard had big bare patches in it. We haven't touched the nasty chemicals and just kept it periodically mowed and it looks darn good and "natural" in my opinion. Most of my neighbors do the same, but my one neighbor busts her butt to mow to an exact height and spray nasty chemicals to get an artificial lawn and I know she sits in her house and seethes about our dandelion "problem" but oh well! My bare patches are gone and the grass grow like crazy now that we've gone natural [​IMG]

    And my father-in-law-to-be can't stand it - he is all about the "real," perfect lawn. Thinks we're crazy.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2009
  7. tabatha_westcott

    tabatha_westcott Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2009
    My chickens roam the yard freely, and I have never had a greener lawn! I was thinking about renting them out to the neighbors... lol
  8. granmahen

    granmahen Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 11, 2008
    Bakersfield, CA
    I agree no chemicals where kids or animals are. For a while we get stickery things. I tell the kids wear flip flops. I might throw down d.e. or bug killers with pyrethrums(sp) but then no chickens for a few days. Better not to worry about it. Seems to me chicken droppings add plenty of fertilizer. I just water it in after they go back home.
  9. Slywoody

    Slywoody Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    Natural is the way to go. I would avoid all chemicals. Just keep the chickens moving. If you don't, they will dig holes.
  10. onesillyme

    onesillyme New Egg

    Aug 7, 2008
    Thanks for the input. We have moss even where there is sun, so I think the "problem" may be acid soil and the fact that the yard hasn't been fertilized this millenium. Literally. We also have a couple dozen 2nd growth fir trees, so I have NO illusions about a perfect yard! I think I'll go with the lime for now (keeping the chickens off that section until it's rained in) and let the girls keep working on the weeding and fertilizing.

    I was never thinking about a "chemical" solution; if anyone has "natural" chicken friendly ways to enhance the lawn I'd appreciate it. I'm also working on minimizing the lawn with native plants since our place is clearly not Disneyland for grass.

    I will have to re-seed where we forgot to move the tractor for a day and they dug holes though. Last summer one of my neighbors knocked frantically on the door, in tears that one of our birds was having a seizure. We looked outside & she was in the midst of a joyous dust bath...

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