mixed turf types

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Saerasx, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Saerasx

    Saerasx Chirping

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    I'm getting ready to start keeping chickens and had a question about my backyard. We have dirt, clay, moss, and clover along with grass mixed in. Our winter was nuts (Portland Oregon) so we let nature reclaim the land so to speak. The wild birds love it. But I want to know if I should be doing anything to it.
     

  2. PrairieChickens

    PrairieChickens Songster

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    Anywhere you put chickens, they will turn the ground to bare dirt within a matter of weeks. Doesn't matter what condition the turf is in--between the eating, scratching, and pooping, they will scorch it. The solution if you want chickens but also want your lawn is to use mobile chicken tractors so that the chickens aren't on the same patch of ground for more than a few days at a time.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Alternately, if your flock is small enough, you can make a large enough enclosure that their impact on the turf will be minimal... not to say that there won't be areas that they will dig up, because they will. they will dig their dust baths, and if they find a tasty spot, they will work that real well, as well as the area immediately in front of their coop. My 1600 s.f. electronet enclosure did not get stripped, with 5 girls. Double the poultry in that spot without moving the netting, and they'd strip it in one season.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Alternately, if your flock is small enough, you can make a large enough enclosure that their impact on the turf will be minimal... not to say that there won't be areas that they will dig up, because they will. they will dig their dust baths, and if they find a tasty spot, they will work that real well, as well as the area immediately in front of their coop. My 1600 s.f. electronet enclosure did not get stripped, with 5 girls. Double the poultry in that spot without moving the netting, and they'd strip it in one season.

    If you have a run that will get stripped, you can do a deep mulch in it to preserve the integrity of the soil, as well as give the flock a job to do. They'll happily scratch in the litter for hours looking for bugs and tidbits. The litter will catch their valuable poo and hold the nutrients instead of letting it all soak into the soil, and run off, both creating an over nutrified issue that will be toxic to plant life over time.
     
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

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    Do nothing to it. The chickens will greatly enjoy the diversity of food. With that variety they should get reasonably balanced diet supplements for as long as it lasts. That could cut your feed bill too.

    How long it lasts depends on how many chickens you have, how big it is, and your climate. Time of year makes a difference too.
     
  6. Saerasx

    Saerasx Chirping

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    Thanks for the advice. I was thinking that our yard is actually great since its pretty much a buffet for them but wanted to make sure. Our soil never stays barren for long so I'm looking forward to seeing it be enjoyed. :)
     

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