Have to mow grass in my run.

Teppler

Songster
7 Years
Jan 29, 2014
91
9
101
Denison, Texas
Have read here about the way chickens eliminate all the grass in a run. I have 4 grown laying hens and there run is approx 30' X 15' they are let out daily but so far I have to mow there run when I mow my yard as it grows just as fast. Do I need more birds? Half of the area is weeds not grass but shouldn't they eat the weeds also?
 

Nupe

Songster
5 Years
Jun 13, 2014
593
213
156
Georgia
How long have the chickens had this run? If it's a relatively short amount of time, they'll catch up. Once they've pecked and scratched up all the established root systems, they'll have nothing but fresh sprouts coming up, which are tasty and don't last long.

A 30'x15' run is a very generous space for 4 chickens. They must be very content. You could certainly handle more, but I wouldn't have more based on the size yard. You're coop size is also important as well as a purpose for the chickens. Do you need more eggs? Do you want to sell them or provide more to family members? Do you want to raise meat birds? Or do they just bring you joy?

Beware of chicken math!
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chicmom

Dances with Chickens
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
8,696
285
316
Strasburg Ohio
Weeds and grass are great! You're really lucky. Maybe since you only have 4 hens, and they have a nice big run, the grass will remain. I would imagine, with time, that will change.

I have a nice big hen house, with an attached chicken run that is probably 8' x 8'. But I live on six wooded acres. My hens are locked in during the day (I have 14 hens and a roo), and then in the evenings, I let them free range outside of their run. The grass in the run died a long time ago. Now I have sand in there, and I rake out the droppings and such each day. The little flock is my hobby, so I don't mind cleaning up after them. It's my fun.

If you like your chickens, and you don't mind caring for them, it's really up to you if you want more. I don't like to keep more that 15 because then it becomes more work and less hobby.

Take care and enjoy those hens!
 

Teppler

Songster
7 Years
Jan 29, 2014
91
9
101
Denison, Texas
They have been in the run over a year, I had some bare spots after last winter but they have all covered with grass. Yes I would like to have 2 more chickens and increase my egg output presently get 4 eggs a day most of the time. I sell what we don't consume and it pays for the feed.
 

Nupe

Songster
5 Years
Jun 13, 2014
593
213
156
Georgia
Another idea would be to start experimenting with gardening or foraging crops inside your run. You could greatly reduce your feed cost if you can get the right kind of goodies to eat or attract yummy bugs. All of which can lead to better tasting eggs.
 

chicmom

Dances with Chickens
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
8,696
285
316
Strasburg Ohio
Nupe, not to be negative, because that sounds awesome, but I can't let my chickens NEAR the garden when the plants are just seedlings and young and tender. I really don't let them into the garden until most of the harvesting is done because they will dig everything up in a quick second, and eat everything in sight. :/

So how would you do that in the chicken run? I truly would love to do that for them.....
 

Nupe

Songster
5 Years
Jun 13, 2014
593
213
156
Georgia
With a 30'x15' run for 4 chickens, you can easily section off multiple areas for different growth stages, kind of like tractoring by allowing and removing access at regular intervals. You can section off a spot to allow vine veggies to establish themselves up parts of the fence or you could cage some plants and anything that grows outside the cage is fair game while the main stem and roots are safe.

When I read this post, I thought of this (had to find it again) :

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/627048/grazing-frame-plans-to-protect-grass-for-chickens

The point here was the OP's unique situation: lots of space for only a few chickens. Most people have the opposite problem. So many possibilities...
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lazy gardener

Crossing the Road
7 Years
Nov 7, 2012
27,615
26,997
917
CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
Count your many blessings. Folks with a stationary run would give their left arm, and perhaps a leg too to have their run stay green. Most often it becomes a sterile waste land, with the only green stuff left, being that which the chickens can't or won't eat. You could make a frame made of 2 x 4's with chicken wire over the top. Plant some forage crops inside the frames, so the chickens can eat what comes up through the frames, but not destroy the root systems. This would be chicken heaven for them. If your run is staying green, that means that you have a good balance going. Don't upset it by adding more chickens!
 

Teppler

Songster
7 Years
Jan 29, 2014
91
9
101
Denison, Texas
Don't want to change things but sure would like to have a few more eggs, guess I better not get to greedy

but still just two more girls would be perfect....
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MANNA-PRO

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