HELP! How do I replenish barren ground in my chicken run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Texasbirdlady, Mar 5, 2016.

  1. Texasbirdlady

    Texasbirdlady Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 9, 2016
    My chickens free range all day but if I am not home I leave them in the coop and accessible run. It has not taken long for the ground in my run to become dry and barren and it just looks ugly. How can I fix this? I thought about tilling in there and planting but I figured the chickens would just scratch it up before anything had the chance to grow.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2016
  2. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 29, 2012
    There isn't a lot you can do unless you are able to section off areas to give it a chance to recover. I've got grass growing in the end of mine and I let it on it for a couple of days every few weeks. More than that though and they just turn it back to dirt.

    If you can keep the wire tight enough you can also run chicken wire between two thick timber sleepers so they can only peck off the green bits that grow up above the wire. I made mine a bit too far apart though and it's sagged so they ate it to the ground. Probably small rectangles would work better than the long one I did.
  3. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

    Mar 3, 2011
    The Land of Enchantment
    The other thing you can do is start dumping organic material in your run - wood chips, chopped leaves, grass clippings, etc. Think deep litter "forest floor". The microbes in it will help break down the waste, attract bugs and worms, and give the chickens something to dig through.

    The grazing frames are a great idea, too. You can plant fodder and the wire cover will keep the roots safe as the chickens eat the tops.
  4. ChickenMammX4

    ChickenMammX4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2015
    SW Ohio
    Do a search for 'Deep Litter Method', it will explain how and why this method works. We do this on our run, it's very easy to maintain and the chickens love it.
    1 person likes this.
  5. RugerFan777

    RugerFan777 Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 14, 2016
    Does deep liter work in rain?
  6. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    Works very well in the rain, just keep it deep enough so the the water will not pool.

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