I'm moving house from a semi urban concrete backyard to a rural grass backyard, a few questions

Sire12

Songster
Aug 29, 2016
276
81
141
Northern Ireland
Hi I'm moving into new house and bringing my 9 hens with me, I've only ever had them in a concrete yard before so I'm not sure what it's like to have them in a grass garden, their coop is currently a shed with roosts in it so I need to buy a coop with a run or just a coop and build a run since I have alot of wire

I'd like to let them have the full run of the yard all the time and then lock them in at night but I want to maintain the garden and keep the lawn mowed or at least looking ok so I'm wondering if I got them a coop with a run and kept them in there at night and then some of the day and then let them into the full garden for a while to pick at the grass then would keep the lawn looking nice from the outside? Or if the chickens had access to the full yard even for a short amount of time per day would they scratch it silly in no time? Here is a pic of the garden its quite big and I only have 9 hens so myb it would even out? I'll try and get a better picture of the full yard tomorrow
 

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Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,225
19,954
857
Southeast Louisiana
There is one way to find out, try it. I'll give my opinion but that's ll it is, opinion.

Whichever way you go I suggest you build a run so you can keep them locked up if you need to. A run adds so much flexibility. Say you have a predator, a dog or fox, that starts killing them. You may want to lock them up until you deal with the predator. Or you are hosting a family gathering and don't want the chickens joining the family feast. Or they decide your back porch or your kids play area is a great place to hang out and poop. If you landscape with mulch they are famous for scratching hat mulch out. A run gives you the ability to deal with this type of stuff even if they normally have free range.

What I'd expect to happen of you give them free range during the day is that some areas they hang out will become bare. That will probably include areas near the coop and probably some in shade somewhere. They will dig pits to take dust baths. As big as that looks most of it will remain green. However they like to eat certain plants but not others. That does look pretty big for 9 chickens. It is still possible you will find certain areas where undesirable weeds try to take over while they keep all the good stuff eaten down. You will have to keep it mowed to keep it looking nice.
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,648
11,806
712
Nevada County, CA
Hi I'm moving into new house and bringing my 9 hens with me, I've only ever had them in a concrete yard before so I'm not sure what it's like to have them in a grass garden, their coop is currently a shed with roosts in it so I need to buy a coop with a run or just a coop and build a run since I have alot of wire

I'd like to let them have the full run of the yard all the time and then lock them in at night but I want to maintain the garden and keep the lawn mowed or at least looking ok so I'm wondering if I got them a coop with a run and kept them in there at night and then some of the day and then let them into the full garden for a while to pick at the grass then would keep the lawn looking nice from the outside? Or if the chickens had access to the full yard even for a short amount of time per day would they scratch it silly in no time? Here is a pic of the garden its quite big and I only have 9 hens so myb it would even out? I'll try and get a better picture of the full yard tomorrow
That looks a lot like the fenced part of my yard that is around my house. My pullets free range part of every day. There are a few areas that have been dug out for dust baths (as @Ridgerunner said). But it's evened out, so to speak, and my lawn area is still green. I still have a run because I worry about predators when I'm away. And I have a fear that they will climb the big tree and flap over the fence to the ranch next door. They'd be dog food for sure if that happened...

And you will need to keep them out of a garden if you have hopes of growing anything for yourself.
 

Sire12

Songster
Aug 29, 2016
276
81
141
Northern Ireland
Thanks alot for the replies :) that's reassuring to know that they won't make it bare, I'll buy coop and build a run for it then so they can stay in it most of the day and then frolic around for an hour or so through the day, the only predators we have here are foxes so I'll have to do research on making a coop fox proof, I'm hoping the smell of my dogs will help a bit and I read before that human hair stuffed into a thin sock will help deter them I haven't tried it before though

Also 3 of the 9 are very large birds 1 orpington and 2 brahmas 1 if which is the roo he's huge I'll attach a pic, would their size help to deter any birds of prey?
 

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