Grasses/Greens for run area

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by JerseyHen, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. JerseyHen

    JerseyHen Songster

    Feb 10, 2011
    Sussex County, NJ
    We are finishing our coop this week and will begin the enclosed run next. Is there any hope of keeping forage grasses growing in there for them, or should I just give up the idea and embrace the moonscape to be? It will be about 16 - 20 square feet per bird. I will be pasturing them in another area with nearly 150 sq per bird (I have 3 areas with that much space so they will move every couple of weeks). The enclosed run is mainly for winter and for those days when I am not able to be around to pasture them (we live in an area with high predation).

    Second question: what grasses/clover/greens grow best and fastest for them? We have a lot of clover here, it seems to do really well, but can they get too much of any one green? What do you plant in the pasture area for a chicken?

    Third question: we are battling the virginia creeper, poison ivy, and poison oak, that lives in the newly cleared areas of the pasture. They do a number on my DH and I, but are these hazardous to the chickens?

  2. hannakat

    hannakat Songster

    Jun 5, 2010
    Beaver County, PA
    I don't really have the answer to all your questions and hope someone comes along!

    There is a thread somewhere on BYC showing pictures of how someone keeps grass growing in the pen. It's a boxed in section covered by fencing and supported so the girls can stand on there and pick through as the grass gets high enough. Pretty clever.

    My chickens don't seem to eat clover. Grass is the main thing my girls go for. I can't imagine poison ivy being an issue for chickens....sounds like you and DH need to refrain from hugging them til winter though! [​IMG]

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