Grass and Plants for Run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by homechick, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. homechick

    homechick Songster

    Mar 26, 2007
    Mineola, Tx
    The subject came up under a different thread and I thought I would start one specifically for this reason.
    I have a fairly small run for my small flock and I let them out of the run occasionally because their run is a dusty, sandy mess. It used to have ivy growing all over part of it and a few weeds and a patch of grass here and there.. but now there is NOTHING. I hate going in there so I know they must not like it (although it was their scratching and bathing that did it!).
    I do not have much money to spend on my run. My yard hardly has grass and spending money on expensive sod for my chickens and not for my kids (to run around on) just seems silly.
    Do you think if I put a patch or two in there it will spread or will they likely destroy it too? Is there some kind of plant that could spread or grow that they won't tear up? Maybe even a plan that they would enjoy. To make the place look friendlier. Lol.
    Thanks for all your advice!
  2. seedcorn

    seedcorn Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    NE. IN
    The only plant I've found that can survive chickens is horseradish. The good thing about horseradish is that it gives my chickens shade, also it's good dug up in the spring. I've got a grape vine growing on the fence that survives but I'm not sure how it would do inside the pen.
  3. tiffanyh

    tiffanyh Songster

    Apr 8, 2007
    [​IMG] What about catnip or cat grass--- mind you, I know NOTHING about this topic--just thinking "out load". You could put it in nice pots and switch it out to give it a chance to grow back....
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2007
  4. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Part of getting chickens for me was to have them kill my crabgrass.

    Nothing could kill my crabgrass, but where the chickens are now, its gone.
    In a few weeks my tractor will be up and running full throttle with my crabgrass killing machines inside.

    I can't think of anything that would survive them.
    maybe if you gave them a tractor as well, planted some grass seed and watered it regularly and moved them around the yard?
    Other then that, ,i have about a billion dandelion seeds I could send ya [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2007
  5. psimek

    psimek Songster

    Jul 15, 2007
    I wouldn't put a grape vine inside the run. My chickens free-range and they ate the leaves off of the grape vine within a few days of it being planted.
  6. I am experimenting, and the experiment is not done but looks promising:

    I made a frame out of 2x6s, and stapled 1x1 wire across the top, much the same way a nursery bench would be made. The frame is 1' wide x 6' long, and goes right up against the side of the new chunnel. The other benefit to this system is that the extra 1' width of wire increases the predator protection.

    I scratched the soil, threw down a little compost and worm castings, then dumped some rye and clover seed. I water the seeds with a watering can twice a day, and they are just now about 3" tall.

    The girls are nipping off the tops as the plants get tall enough to get near the wire, but the good news is that the girls can't scratch the plants out of existence. I'm hoping to get a good 2 months out of the plants, and then will start again in a new spot and let the girls have their way with the old spot.

    I'll let you know in a couple of months if the plan was a success. If you try something like this, please keep us posted!
  7. barg

    barg Songster

    Apr 27, 2007
    Quote:Please post a pic of this, I can't quite picture it but would love to see it, it sounds interesting [​IMG]
  8. i have a 10' x 7' kennel where my girls get to run during the day. i let them out at dusk in the rest of the yard. i have planted a grapevine, some nasturtiums, and sugar snap peas on the outside at one end. They are happily eating any leaves they can reach, which is fine as they get a treat and the plant gets to live. i also stock the dirt with fresh dirt from other parts of the yard or purchase cheap potting soil every month to buff up what they have. i find it also helps to water down and turn over their dirt to keep it fresh and alive.

    i have tried planting sugar snap peas inside their pen, but they don't last long. i love suburbanhomesteader's plan to create protection for growing seeds. i may try that.
  9. NJfarmer

    NJfarmer Songster

    Jul 28, 2007
    New Jersey and Maine
    The floor of my coop was grass but it is now dirt. I usually rake out the poop and water the dirt very well. I also put in more dirt from the woods behind my yard. You could try ripping some chunks of weeds out of your yard and throwing it in the coop. Before I cut the lawn I start grabbing handfulls of tall weeds and grass and throw the plants in the cage and the Chickens love it.
  10. TreyClark281

    TreyClark281 Songster

    Apr 9, 2007
    around Katy, Tx
    you could make two parts to your run ( if it is big enough) and just put a gate betwen them and put them in this run for a couple of days and the next couple of days put them in the other and so on so the grass has a chance to regrow.

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