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Muddy Chicken run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bthlvh1012, Dec 12, 2014.

  1. bthlvh1012

    bthlvh1012 New Egg

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    Dec 12, 2014
    Hello,

    We have 10 chickens in a very large run. Over the course of the past few months the chickens have destroyed all ground vegetation in the run. We would like to plant something that will be resistant to the chickens scratching up. We had grass but they wiped it out. Any type of ground cover so the run in not bare. We have trees that shade the run and berry vines all along the run as well. We need something for ground cover. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you,
     
  2. toonlou

    toonlou New Egg

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    Nov 29, 2014
    I've seen some people use grape vines on the outside of the run and eventually it grows into the run that they can eat and it provides a LITTLE bit of ground protection
     
  3. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have nine chickens in a large run, and give them full range of the back lawn several hours per day. After about a month, all grass was completely gone in the run. I am not familiar with any ground cover or grass that will resist the constant foraging and scratching of chickens. In order to keep the area fresh, we scoop daily and till the ground over several times per week. When heavy rains are forecast, we pitch hay into the run. -keeps them entertained and mud-free! After it dries, we rake out all of the hay and either compost or toss it (as to eliminate mold potential). -a good bit of work, but it keeps the run very nice. The perennial beds and lawn can handle 3 - 4 hours of chickens, daily, without issue - the run where most time is spent, not so much.
     
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Yeah, not a plant mother nature made that a chicken won't scratch up.

    I dumped the last mowing of grass and fall leaves into the run, about 3-4 inches deep covering most the run space, and it has definitely cut down on the muck factor and keeps them busy scratching around.

    You could put in some grazing frames.
    [​IMG]

    1/2" hardware cloth for grass type leaved plants, 1" x 2" welded wire fencing for larger leaved plants.
    I definitely prefer the kind where the wood covers the potentially sharp edges of the mesh.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2014
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Also, look at the drainage off nearby buildings and the ground itself....you might be able to keep excess water from entering the run in the first place which can help immensely.
     
  6. tav1

    tav1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May I jump in? I have a small run and planning to put only 3 hens in there..... its bare ground now....I would like to lie down sod and have grow in.

    Think it will last?
     
  7. HighStreetCoop

    HighStreetCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nope.
     
  8. TXchickmum

    TXchickmum Chillin' With My Peeps

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    -not a chance
     

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