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ground cover

Discussion in 'Pheasants and Partridge (Chukar)' started by bandbaustin, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. bandbaustin

    bandbaustin Songster

    May 21, 2009
    Valparaiso, IN
    I was just wondering what everyone uses for ground cover in their pens. My pens have become a mudpit lately. The kids and I raked up pine needles from under our trees and put them down as ground cover but we don't know if we have enough to do all the pens.

  2. Lophura

    Lophura Songster

    Jan 23, 2008
    Holden, Missouri
    Mud is no fun with galliformes and we are heading into the muddiest times of the year. No doubt that most species are hard on grass, so a ground cover is needed to keep the pens from turning into mud pits. I like the pine needles, great idea. I often make a trek to the Ozarks here in MO and get garbage bags full of "forest liter" and dump in the bare areas of the pens. The birds are natural forest species and enjoy foraging in the material looking for nuts and other items. If you have access to an area with leaves and needles, the more the merrier. Most of our pens also have a great deal of rocks, shrubs, and logs in the bare spots.

    Some examples:


    This aviary is heavily shaded, no grass grows. We added rocks of various sizes before building and there are two globe willows that provide leaf litter almost year round. The hen is a Lineated Kalij.


    This Swinhoe has grass in his pen, but we keep the bare spots covered with willow leaves. I love to use willow as it is fast growing and takes pruning very well.

    Size also helps, the larger the pen, the better chance that you can keep some ground cover alive.

    Last edited: Nov 27, 2009

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