Lawns

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by HEChicken, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My backyard has the standard fescue grass that everyone around here grows. The chooks free range and I've noticed that they eat a lot of grass. When I was at the feed store the other day, I noticed bulk bins with all different kinds of seeds, including alfalfa and brome. So I got to thinking - maybe I should get a pound of one or the other (or both?) and overseed my fescue a little and just see what happens. If the girls like the brome, they'll eat it. If they don't it will be mown before it grows long enough to be baled anyway, so what do I have to lose? Has anyone tried this? Can you see a downside that I'm not seeing?
     
  2. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    There's nothing wrong with that, almost any pasture mix will provide more forage vs fescue. Alfalfa is high in protein and good for the soil as it fixes nitrogen from the air. Brome grass grows in clumps though as opposed to sod. The clumps give more of an uneven surface, but if it's only for pasturing chickens vs a putting green, it will be fine.
     
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Good info - thanks!
     
  4. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You'll need to keep the birds out of the yard for a while while the seeds grow, otherwise they'll just chomp the seeds down. I'd suggest until the new grass is about as tall as the existing stand. I seeded a few bald areas & fenced them off. Once I took the fence down, the birds camped out on the fresh young shoots. If you do get alfalfa, make sure it's been treated with a rhyzobacteria - that way it'll fix nitrogen & add food to your grasses.
    You may have better luck if you rake before laying down see so you can get the seeds on the soil. You could also add clover too, if its cheaper, it also adds protein & nitrogen to the soil. Mine really love the dandilions & will go after them with a vengance. [​IMG]
    I've let some of the bromegrass grow tall in my yard (mostly in corners & where I can't mow) and then cut it, air dry it & put it in their nest boxes.
    A varied diet is always best for animals & people [​IMG]
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Just to let you know, when I was at my feed store a few days ago, the clerk said that they had put away the grass seed because it doesn't germinate well this time of year.

    I just had to try it anyway- I threw out on the ground some clover seed that I had tucked away. Results: no germination yet and it's been maybe a week.

    You might want to do a germination test in the cold temps in your area before you throw out some big $ with a big bag.
     
  6. imthedude

    imthedude Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:it will germinate in the spring if it doesn't take now. just cover it with straw or some other mulch.
     
  7. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Yep - I figured they'd be pretty interested in the seeds so I'd have to keep them off it. I've got a couple of ways I can fence them out so I'll give that a try.
    If you do get alfalfa, make sure it's been treated with a rhyzobacteria - that way it'll fix nitrogen & add food to your grasses.

    Good to know.
    You could also add clover too, if its cheaper, it also adds protein & nitrogen to the soil.

    I seem to remember I had a lot of clover in the backyard before I had chooks. I guess that means they like it [​IMG] I did think I might try seeding some more even though I know it won't last forever.​
     
  8. lotsachicks

    lotsachicks Out Of The Brooder

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    You have chickens in your backyard AND grass.....You are my hero [​IMG]
     
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Ok, some germinated in a sheltered area near a woodpile! But the rest, zero, zilch. Thanks for the tip imthedude!
     
  10. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My friend does this in her pastures. Will alternate sides while one is growing. Always good fresh grass.
     

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