Grass

lynviviana

Chirping
Jul 4, 2021
115
56
88
Needing advice on growing grass for my girls to graze... drying out as the days go on. use to be filled pretty well. now all the grows is weed
If I throw seeds, will it harm the ladies if they consume?
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
10,588
27,098
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North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
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Where, in general, are you located? Is it spring or fall in your part of the world?

If you want to keep grass growing in your run you'll need to use a rotational grazing system that allows the land enough time to recover before the chickens are on it again. Trying to plant grass seed in an area that has chickens in it is futile because they will eat the seed and could be dangerous if it's treated seed.

That said, grass is not really the ideal chicken forage. Clover, alfalfa, and many common weeds are actually far more nutritious. This is the pasture mix I'm going to get for my own land this spring: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DO2G2Y...olid=2ICP1Y6HZO2WK&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,051
22,726
907
Southeast Louisiana
If I throw seeds, will it harm the ladies if they consume?
Some commercial seeds are treated with fungicides or pesticides to keep bugs or fungus from killing the plant as or before it sprouts. If the seed is treated I would not use it. If the seed in not treated I don't see an issue. The chickens are likely to eat it as it sprouts though. You may need to protect it until it gets established.

Needing advice on growing grass for my girls to graze... drying out as the days go on. use to be filled pretty well. now all the grows is weed
How well an area remains growing plants depends on your climate, time of year, kind of turf and plant life you have, rainfall, and the density of your chickens. Sometimes chickens wipe out all green life out. Sometimes they don't. All that other stuff and especially how many you have in how big of an area all contribute.

It sounds like you may have a big enough area for some plant life to remain. They are going to eat what they want and leave the rest. That means after a while al that will be left is weeds. When those weeds grow they shade out the stuff that has been eaten down so it can't grow back. You may help yourself by mowing those weeds down regularly to allow the good stuff to grow back. I usually have to mow my area about 4 times a year.
 

lynviviana

Chirping
Jul 4, 2021
115
56
88
Where, in general, are you located? Is it spring or fall in your part of the world?

If you want to keep grass growing in your run you'll need to use a rotational grazing system that allows the land enough time to recover before the chickens are on it again. Trying to plant grass seed in an area that has chickens in it is futile because they will eat the seed and could be dangerous if it's treated seed.

That said, grass is not really the ideal chicken forage. Clover, alfalfa, and many common weeds are actually far more nutritious. This is the pasture mix I'm going to get for my own land this spring: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DO2G2Y...olid=2ICP1Y6HZO2WK&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it
Some commercial seeds are treated with fungicides or pesticides to keep bugs or fungus from killing the plant as or before it sprouts. If the seed is treated I would not use it. If the seed in not treated I don't see an issue. The chickens are likely to eat it as it sprouts though. You may need to protect it until it gets established.


How well an area remains growing plants depends on your climate, time of year, kind of turf and plant life you have, rainfall, and the density of your chickens. Sometimes chickens wipe out all green life out. Sometimes they don't. All that other stuff and especially how many you have in how big of an area all contribute.

It sounds like you may have a big enough area for some plant life to remain. They are going to eat what they want and leave the rest. That means after a while al that will be left is weeds. When those weeds grow they shade out the stuff that has been eaten down so it can't grow back. You may help yourself by mowing those weeds down regularly to allow the good stuff to grow back. I usually have to mow my area about 4 times a year.
We have an area for the chickens, a large one but dont think its possible enough for us to move the flock elsewhere. i guess i can temporarily section the area and give the chickens alfalfa mean while right? They eat plenty of veggies.
 

3KillerBs

Enabler
12 Years
Jul 10, 2009
10,588
27,098
1,066
North Carolina Sandhills
My Coop
My Coop
We have an area for the chickens, a large one but dont think its possible enough for us to move the flock elsewhere. i guess i can temporarily section the area and give the chickens alfalfa mean while right? They eat plenty of veggies.

Rotational grazing is the best way to keep green stuff growing in a chicken run.
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
4,639
13,529
536
North FL Panhandle Region / Wiregrass
Untreated grass seed is fine. Yes, expect your chickens to eat a lot of the seed. Yes, because its untreated, expect little of it to sprout. Yes, your chickens may eat the sprouts, too.

More importantly, where are you, and what kind of grass are you considering??? Not all grass is the same. Fescue, for instance, has toxicity issues for many grazing critters - chickens largely avoid it, unless its their only option. Annual rye is a good winter grass, but its a "one and done". Perrenial rye is much more expensive, but my birds ignore it till it goes to seed. Orchard grass is better, tolerates some shade, but may not be suited to your climate (and even then, its of little interest to the birds, generally). Then there's timothy...

You should also consider flax, vetch, alfalfa, clovers, winter peas, and a host of other greens of various classes (cereals/grains, legumes/pulses, grasses, etc) so your birds have nutritional variety, and so as not to deplete your soil with a monoculture.
 

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