grass in the pasturing area getting very thin

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by rhoda_bruce, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Songster

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    Well I cooped the chickens 4 days ago, so I can plant some rye grass in the chicken run and the goat pen, because the chickens have pretty much wiped it all out. So now I have to keep the feeder full of grain to make up for the free-ranging that isn't going on, so they are costing me more money. I am hoping I can talk my husband into setting up another pasture area for them, because by the time the rye will be tall enough for me to want to turn the chickens loose again, they will have consumed hundreds of lbs of feed. Besides I know he won't mind having another area that he doesn't need to cut grass in. Fortunately it has been raining, so I think I will start seeing some little green things popping up soon. I should consider myself lucky. Our northern counterparts are fighting frostbite on combs.

  2. cw

    cw Songster

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    get your self 1 of those premier fences, we have 1 and you can rotate pastures much easier
  3. twentynine

    twentynine Songster

    Jun 14, 2009
    It is a little late to try and get rye grass started in our part of the world.

    I am in Ascension Parish say about 50- 60 miles north. Rye grass will sprout but it is going to grow pretty slow since temps and daylight hours are down

    I graze a few head of chickens on rape, clover, turnips, rye and bahia. 10 head of chicken on 200 sq ft grazing areas. I am down to about 4 hours a week on each area. And they are still not regenerating in the seven days off time.

    Here is a picture taken about 0700 right at the time I turned the chickens into the area.


    Here is a picture taken about 1100-1130 after the chickens had GRAZED in the area. The difference is unbelievable, a plague of locust couldn't eat that much green stuff.


    Good luck on your pasture.
  4. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    I have to say, good luck on keeping anything green in a run. I thought German Shepherds were hard on a yard... but chickens, they eat it right down to the root to make regrowth difficult. They're like feathered sheep! All the green is gone from my run and about a 20x20 area in front of their coop where they spend the most time during free range. I'm having to escort them around the back of the coop where the grass hasn't been cut since September.

    I was thinking about adding another pop door into another run, so that I can rotate these guys and hopefully keep some greenary around. There's only 6 birds, 4 are Bantams. I don't know what the owners of 10+ big birds do!

    I've been buying clearance salad mix at the grocery store. One bag lasts 4 days, and evens out to $0.16 a day.

    Ideally my run should be on the far side of the yard, but I had to work with where the building was already. The soil isn't that great due to pine trees, so there's not much that grows in the first place. Onion grass, and two other types, weeds, and mutant vines.
  5. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Songster

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    Well my run is 20X40.......covered, but my goat pen is 90X100, so it takes them a while and my garden is the same size as the goat pen. I let them in the garden a few weeks between planting seasons to clean up for me. The grass I just planted seems to be only about 2 inches in height and not very thick yet, so I will have to see when more of them come up, which I'm sure they will. Its just that I have room for them to eat a bunch of green stuff right now if I fence in the area in front of the coop and that could buy me some time before harvest time with my winter garden. Its ashamed I can't let them in there right now. The rye in the garden is so tall and green.
    Yesterday I couldn't get any feed in time and resorted to dogfood. I'm waiting to see the results of that. I am now pulling grass as treats for the chickens.
  6. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    Oct 13, 2007
    Quote:Wow that says it all right there, the reason I have no grass left.
  7. rhoda_bruce

    rhoda_bruce Songster

    Aug 19, 2009
    Cut Off, LA
    Well green stuff is surely slowing down a bit, but we do have a very long growing season about 365 days a year. I guess I would have less a problem if I didn't have so many chickens. Which that was an accident. I had ordered some chicks from a hatchery and wasn't happy with the shipment date, so I cancelled my order and went straight to the feed store and bought a bunch of RIR pullets, raised them about 5 weeks and when I thought all was fine, I got a phone call from the Post Office saying my chicks were in (the ones I cancelled)........that more than doubled the chickens I had. So as soon as all my pullets are laying, I will have no choice but to get a few customers, which shouldn't be a problem.

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