How do you keep your lawn/yard looking nice, yet healthy for chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Haunted Chicken, Aug 9, 2011.

  1. Haunted Chicken

    Haunted Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    321
    4
    119
    Jun 2, 2011
    Oregon
    My DH was the "spray" king before I got my chickens and put a stop to chemicals in the backyard. The grass looks awful and the weeds are horrific. He's missing his green lawn and clean beds. I'm allergic to bark dust so that's out as weed control. Am I wrong in telling him no weed and feed (or worse) where chickens eat? The raspberries are nothing but stubble, the tomatoes are getting leafless and the lettuce looks like lace. Next year I'll fence off the garden [​IMG]. I didn't take all this extra yard work into consideration when doing this [​IMG]

    What do you do to keep your yards looking nice and still chicken friendly. I think I see a chainsaw in my future, they got into the Rhododendrons today (poisonous for chickens)
     
  2. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    906
    57
    153
    Jun 9, 2009
    We have our vegetable garden fenced off until fall, when we open it to the chickens and rabbits and let them party in there. They clean up the leftovers, converting it to fertilizer, until the snow flies. They have a 1/3 acre fenced in area which includes fruit and nut trees/shrubs for shade and forage. Our flower gardens are not within their yard.
     
  3. ~KH~

    ~KH~ Chillin' With My Peeps

    123
    43
    131
    Jun 16, 2011
    Southern CA
    I think after all the time spraying, your soil is probably quite damaged and unhealthy and will take some time to become healthy again. I have never used chemicals on my lawn and although I do have weeds, it's as green or greener than neighbors who do spray. There's a lot of good information on the Organic Lawn forum at Gardenweb:
    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/orglawn/
     
  4. Haunted Chicken

    Haunted Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    321
    4
    119
    Jun 2, 2011
    Oregon
    ~KH~ :

    I think after all the time spraying, your soil is probably quite damaged and unhealthy and will take some time to become healthy again. I have never used chemicals on my lawn and although I do have weeds, it's as green or greener than neighbors who do spray. There's a lot of good information on the Organic Lawn forum at Gardenweb:
    http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/orglawn/

    Oh no doubt about that. I'm wanting to go from a Pretty to look at but unhealthy yard to a healthy producing yard. If I'm going to water something, it better give something back lol...as in fruit or veggies. Really just wanting to make good healthy living choices. I'll check out the site you mentioned. Thanks.​
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
  5. Haunted Chicken

    Haunted Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    321
    4
    119
    Jun 2, 2011
    Oregon
    Quote:Sounds like a good goal for us. I need to find an area just for them, segregating really makes sense. I'm looking forward to a fenced garden next year. We plan on removing a 40' pool and using that space for the new garden, I don't want to pay to fence something for just a few weeks/months just to redo it next year. After your comments I'm thinking of putting up some of that temporary plastic fencing for now, but this constant shelling out $ for the coop and run needs to end soon lol. (My DH is wondering why all this time and money for a run they don't use lol. Wait until the rains start, I bet they will love their covered run)
     
  6. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Last year I had a horrible front lawn, and now it is gorgeous. I never did anything to it for 20 years except mow. The first think is to mow high, and leave the clippings on the lawn if you don't have a mulching mower. Go as tall as you can go on the mower. Then add good compost to it at 1/4" layer. You need to get organic material on the lawn and the worms and microbes will break it down into nitrogen and other nutrients and also work it in. Organic fertilizer is great too and the chickens won't get sick if they eat it. Corn Gluten applied twice a Year fertilizes and keeps weeds from germinating.

    The next problem is to figure out how to keep the chickens from scratching up the making it look bad. You may want to try a rotating paddock system to allow grazed parts of the lawn time to recover. The natural fertilizer of the chicken droppings will also make the lawn grow very nicely.

    Here's a forum link for lawn care. http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/3.0 And here's the article that the forum thread was started from. http://www.richsoil.com/lawn-care.jsp
     
  7. Haunted Chicken

    Haunted Chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    321
    4
    119
    Jun 2, 2011
    Oregon
    Quote:I just read both. They were very informative. Thank you! Definitely has me rethinking things. I'm getting ready to cut down a bunch of ornamental plants/trees. I was going to haul them to the dump. I think I'll pile them up to put on the bottom of my raised beds next year. The raised blades on the lawn mower makes so much sense. I can't wait to have my DH read this. Thanks!

    KH, I've book marked your forum as well. Wow I have a lot of reading to do [​IMG] Thank you!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by