The enclosed yard that my chickens & dog are in is in horrible shape! A little more than half of it has warm weather grass that is dormant, so it's brown & thin. The stolon things the grass grows on (I think it's Bermuda grass) are laying around everywhere...some of them kind of dangling. It looks like a bunch of hay stalks or something, but stuck in the ground. There's also some weeds..crabgrass & such some dead some green. Then, the other side of the yard is where their old coop was & an oak tree so it is bare except these clumps of grass or weeds (not sure what they are). Whatever this is is very thick, dense, dark green. The chickens won't eat it. I'm not sure if I need dig those up or what? & can they go in compost? I wasn't sure because of the roots on them...didn't want them to take root in the compost...lol. The soil is VERY compacted! I mean BAD!!! In the spot where their old coop was, I'm planning on planting the chickens their own garden this Spring, so since it was a warm day today, I got out there digging in it. I mean, it was about like trying to dig through cement! We have a clay like soil (but some small areas are kinda sandy). I used a shovel & a metal garden rake & dug & dug, turned soil over, broke up hard compacted pieces. Then, I put some of the leaves that I've had out there since about October that they've mulched up & pooped in a lot. I raked that into the soil real good. Then, I put a pile of whole oak leaves on top for them to mulch those up & to hopefully help prevent weeds from growing until planting time. Anyway, back to the grass or lack thereof. This yard (especially the bare side) gets LOTS of use/traffic. I'm always out there tending to the chickens, a big dog is always out there & I can see his "trails" where he mostly walks, & of course the chickens are out there. Some of the grass will come back in the spring in that area, but there are still some spots like around that tree & the dog areas that will stay bare. So, I want to plant some kind of grass there. I've never planted grass, so I don't know a lot about it. I know we'll probably have to do something to this compacted soil before we can even plant grass in it. I'll have to find a grass for my area for shady spots & such, but I don't know how to go about it with chickens around. I mean, won't they eat the grass seeds? Even if they're planted in the soil, I'm thinking they'll just scratch & dig it up. We don't want to put a lot of expense into it because we rent, but we've got to do something. Any suggestions?