installing sod in the chicken yard

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Carolyn252, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    I know, I know; the chickens will destroy all the grass in their free ranging yard. However; it took my six hens about three summers to completely destroy all the grass. Their yard still looks great in the summertime though, because some ground cover weed (which they won't and don't eat) moved in and so the entire space is still green. That particular weed is some sort of ground ivy and dies off in the fall season leaving the yard looking awful. Just plain brown dirt.

    I do want them to have grass to eat and I much prefer the look of grass year round instead of the ground ivy in the summer and bare earth in the fall, winter and spring.

    I'd like to rent a sod cutter and slice off and remove the entire yard's top two inches or so and then install sod.

    My question is do sod farms use chemicals on their sod? Chemicals to fertilize the sod and chemicals to prevent weeds.

    And if chemically treated sod is all that is available, can I install it and simply allow a certain amount of time to pass to make the sod's grass non-toxic for my chickens to eat. Is there some minimum number of mowings, and some minimum number of days of constant watering, and minimum number of days for the chemicals to naturally break down and become non-toxic?

    If I have to do this every three years, it's worth it to me. But, how can I make it safe for my six hens?

    Their coop is a Little Tykes plastic playhouse that's free-standing in the middle of a 15 foot by 9 foot run. Plenty large enough for me to keep them confined in there until the backyard grass is safe for them. The floor of their coop and their predator-proof fenced run is bare earth entirely covered in wood shavings. The run is enclosed by heavy-gauge welded wire hardware cloth on all four sides and ceiling, so they have full access to fresh air and sunshine. I give them lots of green and purple kale from my garden every day, so they'll still have fresh greens while confined to their run.

    Anyone out there who's used sod for their chickens' yard?????????????????

  2. appps

    appps Crowing

    Aug 29, 2012
    My hubby works on what you call a sod farm.

    Yes they use chemicals.

    No they shouldn't hurt your chickens. He would bring it home and lay it and I wouldn't think twice about letting my chickens on it. We are in Australia but it should be fairly similar. Chemicals used need to have a fairly short life to comply with environmental laws and in case there is run off into waterways after rain.

    The thing I would watch for is if they grow it in that plastic netting to make it easier to roll. As they get down to dirt they will hit that and could get tangled. Some grasses they use it more than others.
  3. Carolyn252

    Carolyn252 Mother of Chickens

    Your reply is much appreciated. Thanks. I think I'll try phoning some sod farms and ask my questions of them. I'll try to find out what the life span is of their chemicals. Our environmental laws may be looser or stricter than Australia's. Who knows. We shall see....

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