Grass to dirt?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by P-F, Apr 10, 2008.

  1. P-F

    P-F In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2008
    Delphos, Ohio
    I am planning on giving my 21 hens a huge run about 100ft x 50ft which works out to 238sqft/bird

    my question is will they turn the whole area to dirt or is that enough space/bird that the grass will be able to keep up.

  2. airmom1c05

    airmom1c05 Songster

    Feb 3, 2008
    Raymond, Mississippi
    My best guess would be (drum roll) DIRT! [​IMG]
  3. yankeemtfarm

    yankeemtfarm Songster

    Sep 13, 2007
    I agree it will become dirt soon enough ,but you have a good sized run for 21 hens.

    If you can free range some of the time, it may help with some of the damage to your new run.

  4. It will be dirt.
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    My money is that *some* parts of it (esp. the parts nearest the coop and in any other attractive locations such as under trees or bushes) will rather rapidly become bare dirt, and the rest will gradually follow, probably via a phase where it's more weeds than grass [​IMG]

  6. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I really feel that unless you give them an acre, it will be dirt. It's amazing what damage these critters can do...
  7. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007

    Not only do they eat the grass, but their tendency to scratch up everything to investigate it further, leaves no living thing left.

    Perhaps you could have a portion blocked off for special grass-eating hour...
  8. 1acrefarm

    1acrefarm Songster

    Nov 3, 2007
    Maybe you could split it in half. Cross fence it. Let them destroy one side while the other grows then rotate them. Rotational grazing works wonders for livestock I do not see any reason the principle cant be applied to chickens in that much space. Since the divider is not for predator protection chicken wire would be adequate. Edited too add you may have to reseed from time to time. Deer plot mixes in 50 pound bags are cheaper than grass seed and better for the chickens.

    I saw a nice coop setup once that had a run on both sides. The person who owned it would use one run for chickens the other for crops. They changed sides every year so they always had fertile growing space and a clean run. If i had room on the other side of my barn that is what I would do.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2008
  9. Farmer Kitty

    Farmer Kitty Flock Mistress

    Sep 18, 2007
    There was an idea on here last year about building frames and putting hardware cloth on top of it to protect the grass from their digging. Not sure if anyone has tried it but maybe put in a few places around the run you could still have some grass for them.
  10. P-F

    P-F In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2008
    Delphos, Ohio
    I was wondering about the rotational grazing we do that with our cattle to some extent. I also think I will probably slit the pen.

    Also I have 8 stards of High tensil electric fence about 5 acres that we use for cattle sales, I was thinking of free ranging them their during the day.

    Let me know your thoughts.

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