Grass Or Not To Grass ?


10 Years
Jun 18, 2009
East Tennessee
I have 24 pullets, 16 weeks. Pen is 185 ft perimeter, irregular 2,000 sq ft. Area ended up half in grass, other half trampled down by building coop and some very sparsely grassed. I am in process of cross fencing 40% of it off and have cultivated it already for planting grass. Will plant creeping red fescue in shady ares and Ky 31 tall fescue in sunny areas.

My aim is to have as much grass as possible for the girls to eat so that the pen will be as close to free-range conditions as possible. I was told that no grass would survive including what is there now. I am wondering if 2,000 sq ft is enough for 24 pullets to grow and sustain grass, or if I am due to be disappointed?

I am certain that they get calcium from the grass and also living enzymes as well, not to mention that bugs feel safe if there is grass cover and are not likely to be found on bare ground.
Our chickens ripped throough the grass in their run in about a week and now we have a dirt patch. Even when we put them in their mobile pen, the grass underneath it is damaged in just one day. I love the idea of planting grass, but I'm not sure it will grow faster than they ruin it. Good Luck!
Well I have a patch of Kentucky Fescue and it survived the chicken tractor at least as well as them Bermuda grass (which seems almost indestructable since my chickens don't eat it) but that was just a tractor location for a couple of days.

I think you would have to use some sort of rotational grazing system to make any grass survive a chicken run. Even if they don't eat it, they do damage it by digging it out.

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