Love my chicken tractor, but the bedding's making a mess of the lawn!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lceh, Jun 19, 2009.

  1. lceh

    lceh Songster

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    Oct 15, 2008
    Central Virginia
    We have 8 bantams in a great A-frame chicken tractor built by my dad. It's in our front yard. Because I was worried about the chickens completely trashing the yard, and to prevent digging predators, I lined the bottom with 2" x 3" wire. It works great. I move the tractor every day, and while the grass is flattened and a little scratched up at the end of the day, I take a rake to it and it's fine. The problem? The chickens love to scratch their pine shavings out of the henhouse and into the pen. The shavings look pretty ratty on the lawn, and raking can't get them all. (They're probably not good for the grass, too.) What bedding can I use that will (1) not kill the grass; (2) keep the chickens warm and happy; and (3) not look awful when they scratch it all over the place? Our yard would never have won any awards even before the chickens, so it's not like I expect it to be immaculate, but those light colored shavings really look bad. I'd love something a little more innocuous, and maybe even good for the grass! I've thought about chopped leaves or grass clippings, but am unsure how to keep a supply of them dry to prevent mold.....
     
  2. When I get around to building my 'tractors' the bottom of the hen house is going to be the grass in the yard. I am not going to use shavings or chips.
     
  3. Brassmaster

    Brassmaster In the Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2009
    Wayne County, Ohio
    I use hay in mine. Where mine are kept it doesn't matter if it falls on the ground but it would be easy to rake up if I wanted to.
     

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