grass boxes in run... what to plant?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by nightshade, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. nightshade

    nightshade Chillin' With My Peeps

    okay so I have read a lot on here about people building grass boxes with wire over them in their runs so the girls have greens but can't scratch in them. I decided that I defantly want to do this when we move. Since I have terrible spring fever already I am trying to get stuff together so when it thaws out I can dive right in. Heaven knows if there was not all the snow and more on the way I would have the new coop built already even though nothing else is even there yet lol.

    Anyway what do you plant in these boxes. I am assuming that it is not just lawn seed from walmart but maybe something like rye or pasture grass mix? Also how deep do you make them? I was thinking the frame out of 2x6's and then hardware cloth stapled over the top so that the greens are planted 4-5 inches bellow the wire. Will this work?
  2. rebelcowboysnb

    rebelcowboysnb Confederate Money Farm

    Lawn grass and/or bird seed.
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Even 2x4s would work as a frame, for grass. That's more like the height of mowed lawn grass, which does fine.

    You can plant lawn grass, wheat or oats for grass. I use wheat and oats for my winter time pots of kitty grass. The cats like both types.

    I'm not sure which other plants will grow through the small holes and do well with just the bottom portions left alive, other than grass. When it comes to larger plants and plants with larger leaves, I've either grown things out in the yard or in pots. You may have to experiment a little.

    You may find that the frames with hardware cloth do well for grass, but other ideas work better for the larger plants. Like pots that get rotated in and out. Or a wire fence around plants that the chickens can get their heads through to nibble, but not get at the entire plant. Or a hardware cloth cage that protects plants, until you uncage it.

    Pasture mixes are good. Legumes like clovers and alfalfa add protein and are a good addition from a nutritional point of view. Any of the greens like spinach, chard or kale are good for them. Chickweed, parsley or dandelions can be fed. Beet greens, as well as the roots, are good for them. Dark green leaf lettuces can be fed. When you get into the larger plants like these, it's a pretty big list. I'm just not sure what will grow well through hardware cloth, besides grass.

    I know what you mean about having spring fever. I've been growing more trays of sprouts lately. Mmm... alfalfa sprouts!
  4. nightshade

    nightshade Chillin' With My Peeps

    lol Thanks for the info ! we are suspose to get a warm up this weekend into the 40s heck that will feel like summer at this point.
  5. playswithfowl

    playswithfowl One Earth!

    Jun 18, 2007
    I picked up a package of seeds thats actually called chicken scratch, it is supposed to have a bunch of greens that chickens like. I will be making and planting these in a box this spring.
  6. Dixiedoodle

    Dixiedoodle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 14, 2007
    We use winter rye for a cover crop on our farm--Would this work in the boxes? It stays green thru out the winter around here...

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