Growing Grass in the Run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jthornton, Oct 30, 2017.

  1. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Songster

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    Our lead is a local/regional alternative energy contractor (does residential to large-scale commercial - not industrial - solar and wind system installations). A 100-foot long scrap of vinyl coated HW cloth 18" high is worthless to them. Yet that one scrape can create a skirt to keep voles and shrews out of my whole chicken run/garden! And that was just a small portion of what we scrounged.

    If you can find someone like that, you're golden! Another perk from them: all the free brand new pallets we can handle!
     
  2. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    The reason I want the along the fence line is to open up the yard and still give them plenty to pick at. Also to block the underside of the fence in some areas. So I'll convert the 2' ones to 1'.

    JT
     
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  3. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    For something that big think about how your going to walk on it to do routine cleaning and maintenance. The pullets do scratch a lot of stuff from the yard on top of the grass boxes that has to be cleaned off.

    JT
     
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  4. mike1970

    mike1970 Chirping

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    cover it so they can only eat down to like 2 inches
     
  5. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Songster

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    My Coop
    Good point! Having no experience with them (yet) I'd hope a broom could do most of the job. But I'll probably just mount some sticks on the frame as handles so they can easily be picked up, tipped up, moved, etc. I've used a bunch to make a kind of ladder system to get up to the nest boxes (which works quite well). I think they'd make decent enough handles for moving a garden frame.

    I have a gate in between the run and garden so when I need to do maintenance in one or the other without, as @rosemarythyme put it so eloquently, "feathered footballs" underfoot - I can just lock the girls in the opposite area while I work :)
     

    Attached Files:

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  6. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    I finished up a couple of the new grass boxes yesterday just in time to get a 1/4" of light rain on them.

    grass-box-mk2-01.jpg

    JT
     
  7. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Songster

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    Mar 21, 2016
    Maine, USA
    My Coop
    I took a while to get here, but finally I did. Here is my first "grass box" - we've taken to calling them "chicken shields" :)

    Made out of reclaimed pallet wood (3 1/2") and reclaimed vinyl coated 1/2" hardware cloth. It's about 30 sq ft, but it's lightly built and probably only weighs 30 lbs.
    20180622_154318 (Medium).jpg 20180622_154344 (Medium).jpg

    I made several "catwalks" on the top so the girls don't have to walk on the hardware cloth to mow what grows through it. Some girls stick mostly to the wood. The daredevils walk all over it not minding the cloth one bit :)

    With the addition of some tiny circular fences we're raising shrubs, clovers, creeping thyme and a few other things. I'll probably seed some fescues under it as well.

    20180622_161152 (Medium).jpg 20180622_161206 (Medium).jpg

    Just finished it and installed it today. Should be interesting to see how it works! And better late than never :D
     
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  8. jthornton

    jthornton Crowing

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    It will be interesting to see if you have a sagging problem with a big one like that. My 2' x 4' sag in the middle when several pullets are on it at once.

    JT
     
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  9. HoopyFrood

    HoopyFrood Songster

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    Mar 21, 2016
    Maine, USA
    My Coop
    Time will tell! I tensioned the HWC pretty tightly before clamping it down. Also, though it's hard to see in the pics, but that single "catwalk" running vertically in the first pics is covering a support where the edges of the two 3-ft wide pieces of HWC overlap.

    So it does sag a little, but not too much. Yet I haven't seen more than one bird on it at a time. Our largest bird is probably 9 pounds. She walked on the HWC and handled the "give" quite well. Now if we get all five at once? Dunno.

    If it happens I'll post an update here!
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
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  10. JMotuzick

    JMotuzick Songster

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    Adding a rock or a brick under the low spot should make it the high spot!
     
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