Grass-Sedge-Ground Cover For My Chickens??


8 Years
Jun 22, 2011
Hello all,

I got a nicely sized back yard with a huge mulberry tree in the middle of the yard, where there the yard gets almost no sun. The ground is fully grass-less with soil all over. I am wanting to plant some kind of native grass/install native grass sod but it turns out that i cannot because my chickens will eat native grass seeds and native grass sods cost beyond my budget limit. I also found out that there is no grass that can survive in full shade except for maybe Berkeley Sedge (Carex Divulsa). I still have the problem to deal with, which is my chickens would eat the seeds even with new topsoil to cover the seeds as well as baby grass blades when they spout. Thus i would probably never succeed at growing the grass if i plant the seeds. This moves me into a new direction, which is to get a full shade ground cover. Now i wonder whether any of the choices i have would be toxic or poisonous to my chickens. Can someone check out this link and let me know which of those are no-no?


Sacramento, CA
In my experience, an area so shady that weeds will not grow will not support anything else. Here in the South, something will grow almost anywhere. In the shady areas, some weeds flourish. The chickens eat most of them, so that makes them good weeds. But even with this growth, what is there is sparse.

If you want something to grow to sustainability, you may need to fence the area until the plants are up and able to stay ahead of the chickens. That would be one time that chicken wire would be beneficial.

The ground cover I prefer is Asian Jasmine. It covers quickly, is drought tolerant, and does very well in the shade. It is well suited to plant hardiness zones 8 - 9. My chickens don't pay any attention to it. They lounge in it from time to time, but never attempt to eat it.

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