Keeping them green

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by LipsChicks, Jan 21, 2015.

  1. LipsChicks

    LipsChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a great fenced in run attached to my coop. This year I can see that once spring comes, I'll have a muddy mess. I'm trying to brainstorm how to somehow rotate my 50 chickens onto fresh grass, using the same coop and door. I need them to stay protected from our nephews black lab. My run has electric fence which is extremely effective.also, we have hawks in our area. Any ideas?
     
  2. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Where would they go if not on in the run? I mean, what are the options? Is there a yard that the dog uses and you're concerned about the dog attacking chickens? We have a black lab mix and were able to train her to leave the adult chickens alone. It took 6-8 weeks of constant training, but it worked. Don't trust her with baby chicks though!

    And unless you've got a HUGE GIANT yard, 50 chickens will destroy it pretty quickly. Unless fenced, any flower/plants/vegetables/bushes/etc can and will be destroyed, sometimes in as little as 2 minutes. Or do you have pasture, where they can tear it up to their heart's content?
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/947826/pasture-model#post_14658338

    Here's a thread with similar issues.
    50 birds are going to have to be rotated very frequently, and have a pretty large area to keep any vegetation. You're probably better off to research mud management techniques for your existing run. Personally, I use a few bales of straw and it does the trick.
     
  4. LipsChicks

    LipsChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We live on a farm and have a lot of grassy space. I'm trying to figure out how to fence them in and still be able to use their existing door and coop. We have hawks in our area so I need to keep it covered..
     
  5. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree that straw or sand for the mud would probably be the best way to deal with the mud, I use straw for one of my runs. It's at the bottom of the hill, connected to another run, so it catches all of the run off when it rains and gets pretty yucky without the straw.

    For green stuff, you might consider fodder boxes. I plan on building a few for my Silkies this spring since they don't get to range on the yard very often. All you do is make a wood square without a top or bottom. Put some grass seed inside (or whatever else you want them to nibble on) and cover the top with hardware cloth or chicken wire. The greens grow up through the wire cover, the birds can pick at them, but they can't scratch up the roots and destroy the plants. I also sprout lentils for a green treat for my birds. Put the seeds inside a mason jar with a cheese cloth top. Rinse them everyday and drain them well until they've sprouted, then they're ready to feed (they're also delicious on salads and in stir fry!!!!).

    Good luck!
     
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Electric poultry netting, moved every few days.
     
  7. LipsChicks

    LipsChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    how would I cover it?
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I'm not sure you could cover the entire thing. I would use mobile hiding places if aerial predators are a big concern. Something as simple as a pallet or sheet of plywood on some cement blocks offers a lot of protection.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015

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