crooked stripe

12 Years
Jan 14, 2008
N.E Ohio- Suffield
I would like to sweeten the soil in the run to encourage new grass growth. The chickens have eaten the greens to where the run is nothing but bare. I was thinking of lime then planting winter wheat to do a couple things. 1 more food come spring and 2 keep the mud down. My run is on a hill so there is no standing water but it gets pretty slick. Will the lime hurt the chickens?
It depends on the lime you use. Hydrated lime, also called slake lime is harmful. This is the common white powder lime you find for lawn care and is the burned then hydrated lime used for mortar. Then there is a crushed agricultural lime that is grey, this is the crushed fines of a pure source such as chalk, limestone or dolimite. This product is fine with chickens, they can eat it as a calcium source instead of shells and is also beneficial to soil though not to the degree of hydrated lime.
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They'll eat any seed you scatter. Unless you can use an alternate run while you refresh the current one or in some other way restrict access to the soil, nothing is going to grow in a chicken run. Somewhere on BYC are pictures of chicken salad bars. It's basically boxes made with 2x4s and hardware cloth that you place over your planted area to allow the birds to peck off the growth as it comes through the top but not reach the seeds or emerging shoots.
Thank you for the lime lesson, well appreciated. As far a planting go's I have a second run about the same size. 25x60 One run is on the north side and the other is on the south side with a covered hallway between the two. I just gate one side or the other and I can rotate them that way. Planting will be easy if I can keep the other wild birds at bay.Thank you, rj

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