How much run for renewable grass.

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by viper125, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. viper125

    viper125 Out Of The Brooder

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    Salem,Ohio
    I'm thinking of increasing my flock quite a lot. Right now i use a 12 x 12 coop inside the barn and a 8 x 12 run out side for 28 Birds. Their happy and no problem. I live in an Urban area were running loose wouldn't work. Neighbors all have gardens. LOL! Trouble with the 8 x 10 is I have to cut grass , weeds and other things for the run. As they turn it to dirt quickly. So my question is, how many sq. feet is required to let the chickens run and not destroy the grass? So it would keep renewing itsself. Simply a confined free range LOL!
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28 birds? You may well need over an acre. Best guess. You'd also have to rotate the birds into different pens and not return to the first pen until at least a month has past. As you have observed, I'm sure, the birds scratch, dig and destroy. They're pretty much roto-tillers. It doesn't take them more than a few days to blast off a patch of green grass.
     
  3. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For 28 hens i would think at least a 1/2 - 1 acre.
     
  4. Mahlzeit

    Mahlzeit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rotating them between a few different runs would probably be the best way to keep them on grass.
     
  5. speedy2020

    speedy2020 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you consider build a frame with wire and place on top the grass area? This allow them to eat tall grass above the mess wire and not destroy it.
     
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    [​IMG]

    These are little day pens. 4 x8. Light weight and easy to move bout. Any more than 10 adolescents in a pen this size is too much. A pen like this might hold 6 adults for one day, on a spot of grass, tops. Moving these tractors about is a daily occurrence here. Being methodical, these tractors traversed the back pasture, about an acre, twice over our 100 day summer season.

    So again, with 28 birds, it would take extraordinary management to keep fresh, clean grass under them on less than an acre pasture. Plus, the weather must cooperate with good moisture and grass growing weather.
     
  7. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    I wouldn't cut the grass if I didn't have too. Tall grass would be fine. Let the chickens take it down.
     
  8. viper125

    viper125 Out Of The Brooder

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    Salem,Ohio
    Well can't fence in that much. So thinking of building some raised beds in the run . And cover with wire. They won't be able to tear it all up.
     
  9. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Well now if it's for a garden raised beds work out great if fenced in. You might consider electric fencing since that can be moved easily enough.

    I've used rustic fencing for my garden and I suppose the same would work for a run. The lower edge is surrounded by 24" poultry wire and they have gates of course. Sometimes the girls get in but not often.

    You could do similar in your yard, in sections and move them from day to day. You might also try googling "fencing off chickens" you might find pics of ideas. I usually do that for ideas and get "images" . "Coops from pallets, garden paths etc. etc. I checked there is a site for fencing off chicken images so you can get ideas and hopefully find one that works for you.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2015
  10. viper125

    viper125 Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 3, 2013
    Salem,Ohio
    Well a run here is difficult. I tarp off the top of what I got now. Prevents owls, eagles, and hawks from getting in.. I was thinking of chain link fence this time. But seems it would have to be 6 - 8 feet high to keep chickens in. And the raised beds I talked about is for them inside the fence.
    Thinking of lay down some blocks or timbers and stretching poultry nesting across them. This way grass can grow up through fence on the beds. So they can eat the grass but not tear it up. And protected by the fence it could keep growing.
     

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