Grass In Pen

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gsim, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Have 2,000 sq ft pen, 24 pullets. Can I expect to maintain grass in there, or will they eventually kill it?
     
  2. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's a huge pen! I think you'll be ok. If you wanted to you could divide it into quarters. That would give you the ability to rotate your pullets and re-seed or plant goodies for them in the empty sections. It would also make it more workable if you decide to get more chickens......not that ANY of us on here would ever get more just because we have room for them, that would be silly [​IMG]
     
  3. HippieChickens

    HippieChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Mar 25, 2010
  4. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oho! No more for me. I only ended up with 2 dozen because they were cheaper than the 18 I wanted. Two of my kids and their spouses are wanting in on the eggs, so I have too many for sure now. If it was just the two of us, I would have only had 8 or so.

    Funny thing happened recently while I was out there working. As usual, they were all congregated around me watching what I was doing. Suddenly I hiccuped real loud. They all stampeded in a flutter to the farthest point away from me, and stayed there for 20 minutes. LOL
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    It probably wont all die, but they'll likely start killing patches of it here and there. I "used" about 18 juveniles to clear a patch of grassy weeds over the winter that was about 20x50, so half of your run area.
     
  6. tonini3059

    tonini3059 [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Luv

    Nov 6, 2008
    Southwestern PA
    Good luck, I have about 100 hens and 30 ducks in a 1500+ sq ft pen and I have never been able to keep grass in there. I know that seems like high density, however they free range 90% of the time. I think if it never really rained all that much it would be fine, but one wet day and them walking on it the grass just seems to die.
     
  7. dirtybug

    dirtybug Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:I haven't tried this yet but it has been on my plan sheet for over a year, I've never heard mention of it anywhere but in my head [​IMG]
     
  8. twentynine

    twentynine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 10 chickens on 600 sq ft. The 600 sq ft is divided into 3 equal 200 sq ft areas. I was hoping to be able to rotate the birds so they could have fresh clean grass. Ain't gonna work. Takes them about 3 days to damage to one area. So that gives me 6 to 9 days of total rotation time. The grass does not recover that fast.
     
  9. MIKE555444

    MIKE555444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I added a large run area this summer and it worked great... They never ran out of something green and their feet hardley touched the ground. BUT as fall comes in I notice they are really taking a toll on the grass in this run...

    I am thinking about making a temp winter run and let them pick it dry. Then i can try to recover the main run during fall/winter and give the large run back to them in the late spring. If I do this them they will have fresh grass all summer. If I don't it looks like they might deplete everything this fall/winter and nothing will grow there next summer either.....

    Here is my run as of last week - it is about 30 x 25 which gives me about 50 s/f per bird(15 chickens total).
    [​IMG]


    But during the summer it looked much nicer like this:
    [​IMG]
     
  10. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Thanks for all of the replies. Hate to think of cross-fencing, but it could be a way to keep some live greens in pen. Bermuda grass is particularly hardy around here in E Tennessee, but goes completely dormant to point that it turns brown in wintertime. Ditto crabgrass. Both do very well in drought conditions. The pasture that mike 555444 shows is more lush than the grass I have. If he is thinking he will have trouble, I am sure to also.

    I suppose that next year will be when I will find out once and for all. I have around 80 sq ft for each bird. The sod and welded wire spaced above it sounds like it would work really well for selected spots. Birds cannot get bugs tho in those places.

    I wanted to also put in a self-contained eco system for growing crickets and earthworms in center of pen. Escapees would become food for my birds . Self sustaining if done in compost with wire over it to keep birds from ripping it up and plundering it in one day. Wonder if anyone has tried it?
     

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