Mowing the Lawn?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by abouch66, Jul 24, 2016.

  1. abouch66

    abouch66 In the Brooder

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    Jul 24, 2016
    Greetings all, I just started a backyard flock with 6 hens. They're free range essentially, they have 1/8 of an acre or better of fenced in area of my yard. How often should I mow their area? I've read they like to eat the grass clippings, but also read they like to eat the tops of the blades of grass, and taller grass may provide more seeds or insects? My mowing height is 3.5 inches and I mow once a week, should I hit their area weekly as well or perhaps let it grow a bit more and say mow it bi-monthly? Thoughts/ Opinions?
     
  2. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Songster

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    From what I understand they can handle the shorter grass better. The longer stuff also has more chance of causing crop impaction. I'd say mow their grass along with rest.

    Best wishes,
    Ed
     
  3. Intheswamp

    Intheswamp Songster

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    Having stated the above, I will say that it probably would not hurt anything to just mow it every other week. Maybe try it both ways and see if you can tell which way they prefer it. Depends on whether they graze it heavily as to how much you really need to mow, I suppose. :)

    Ed
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Mow most as you normally would leaving a strip you can allow growing to a foot or more tall. Varied height can also attract night moving insect forages your birds can invest in during the day. I have multiple such strips where some is mowed once annually while other stripes mowed a couple of times. Birds spend a disproportionate time around the strips mowed the least but would not do so without closely mowed areas nearby. Chickens are very much edge associates.
     
  5. When grass is mowed and grows back, the new growth comes in from the top of the grass blades where it was mowed. Mow the grass as often as you mowed it before or even a little more often. This will ensure plenty of succulent new growth. Some commercial fertilizer applied to your yard about now, may pay big rewards in extra food this Fall. Just water the fertilizer into the yard after you spread it on the grass.
     
  6. When grass is mowed and grows back, the new growth comes in from the top of the grass blades where it was mowed. Mow the grass as often as you mowed it before or even a little more often. This will ensure plenty of succulent new growth. Some commercial fertilizer applied to your yard about now, may pay big rewards in extra food this Fall. Just water the fertilizer into the yard after you spread it on the grass.
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    I plant various legumes in grass as they seem preferred by chickens browsing about for greens.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Lawn management, like so many other things related to gardening is extremely subjective, and varies according to climate, time of year, and even your own microclimate. You will need to mow more in the spring, less as the weather warms up and rain becomes more sparse. You might want to even let it go to seed if it's sparse to encourage natural over-seeding.
     

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