how to get grass to grow in the run?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Mommysongbird, Jun 7, 2011.

  1. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Our chicks are NOT ALLOWED to free range outside the run, too dangerous. But they are constantly wanting grass and our yard really doesn't have a lot in it right now, we do have clover which they like and we pull it for them, but they sit by the sides of the run and try to get their beaks through the holes in the fence to get to what grass they can find. What should we do??? They actually sound like they are crying (especially late in the day) because they cannot reach anything. I feel so bad.

    I was going to sew seed in the run before putting them in, but we ran out of time.
  2. WalkerH

    WalkerH Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would say just wait till next year. Or if the run is big enough perhaps portion a part off that you could sew grass and let it get established, although that takes a while. I usually toss the weeds from the garden in the run and then place a large rock over it, so they are able to pull bits off at a time.
  3. Chick Norris

    Chick Norris Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 16, 2011
    Chester County, PA
    Make a salad bar. Make a square or rectangle out of landscape ties and cover it with hardware cloth. Seed underneath this or lay a strip of sod beneath it. The chickens will be able to peck pieces as they grow but won't destroy the roots.
    1 person likes this.
  4. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    Quote:Very good idea!!! [​IMG]
  5. bethsplace

    bethsplace Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2009
    has anyone tried putting sod in their runs
  6. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Quote:Okay I was having a blonde moment when I read salad bar. [​IMG] I was thinking how do you keep them from eating the seeds?? Duh! I am already going to put a little sandbox in for them, not sure if I will have room for both. The run is 8 feet long, but only 4 feet wide not including what is under the coop.

    I will give this more thought though and come up with something. I surely don't have enough room to partician off. And if I don't get rid of some of the roos, I want have room for all of them period. [​IMG]
  7. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Quote:There is actually a sod farm down the street from us, maybe I could get a few squares or a roll (not sure how it comes) from them. Thanks for that idea.

    But what if it is chemically grown?? I don't want my chicks to eat anything that is not good for them.
  8. ChickenAl

    ChickenAl Diagnosis...Chicken-Headed

    Jun 5, 2011
    Putnam cty, NY
    Be careful with sod. Sometimes the grass has endophytes which are not good for grazing animals. It is a fungus that is put on the seed that attaches to the roots, and I assume the grass blade as well, which is purposely used to protect the grass from parasites and disease.

    I go out harvesting grass and dandelions in the morning to feed the girls in their run. We've taken out one bird at a time to see how they like the grass and they devour it. We will make a paddock to let them range in when we are with them at some point. I don;t think it is going to be easy to keep grass growing in the run, though. They can tear up a lot in a tractor in a short period of time and have to be moved frequently to keep the grass from getting wiped out, so I don't think the grass in the run will hold up for any period of time.
  9. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    You could always make a tractor pen for them to be in during the day. That way you can move it around to the grass and then put them back in their coop for the night. You could seed their run during this time so they'd have some in there when they come back. Is there anyway you can make their run bigger? Or add another run (or 2 or 3) to different sides of their house? That's what I plan to do with mine this fall, but mine have movable runs. I'll be able to move the run around their houses, I'll just have to have 4 pop doors and 2 people doors in each house [​IMG]
  10. Mommysongbird

    Mommysongbird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 17, 2011
    Small Town, Virginia
    Quote:That is what I figured about the sod.

    Right now we don't even have dandelines to pull up, I have no idea why?? Last year we couldn't get rid of them, now there are none. We will actually be digging up our whole front yard soon to try to even it out, so there won't be any grass at all for a bit. We will use straw and seed to get it back, but that may take a while. Our back yard already has a HUGE hole/trench so there is not much grass or anything else back there right now either.

    Can they have grass clippings? What about Kudzu vine or periwinkle vine. I was told that periwinkle is bad for goats, just wonder about chickens. We have PLENTY of it thanks to my mother-in-law. [​IMG]

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