My poor lawn :(

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mrsbos, Sep 11, 2011.

  1. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chirping

    Aug 11, 2010
    Greenacres, WA
    I put up with a lot letting my 3 chickens free range my large backyard. They make a mess out of all my bark beds, there are chicken "pot holes" everywhere, and I'm on constant poop patrol to keep the area relatively safe for kids to run around in. I've learned to live with all that. But really, with a large, lush lawn, and their freedom to graze anywhere, must they only eat the grass in a few spots, until it's bare dirt? It gets muddy there, and pretty soon weeds will probably come up where the grass has been picked so thin. I don't like the chicken tractor idea, because it seems so confining (plus I'd have to put a nest box in there, because they all lay at different times of the day). I've now got them penned up most of the day (they've got about 100 sq ft, but no lawn access), hoping that the grass will come back, but as soon as I let them out, they go to pick at the same spot!


  2. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Crowing

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Oh, I feel your pain. My girls feel the need to scratch right at the edge of the patio and kick dirt all over my patio. We are usually sitting out there with them as I'm afraid to let them free range because of the hawks.

    I bought a spray bottle at the hardware store and filled it with water. I swear I only had to spritz them twice and they got the message. Now they rarely come scratch right at the edge of the patio. If they do, I just pick up the spray bottle and they scatter like cockroaches.

    Could you try something like that?

    Or if you are not usually sitting outside, what about putting some netting over the bare patches of lawn or something to deter them from those spots and get them to mix it up a bit?
  3. mrsbos

    mrsbos Chirping

    Aug 11, 2010
    Greenacres, WA
    I had fenced the thin areas off with stakes and chicken wire---which works---but is probably even more unattractive than the bare spots on the lawn. I've also covered the spots with wooden pallets covered in netting. Not a whole lot of attractive options [​IMG]

    They must just like the 'short grass' better, which is why they continue to eat in those spots. The long grass takes more work to "chew" [​IMG]

    Darn chickens. If they weren't so cute....and laid such pretty, yummy eggs....and ate all the crane flies and spiders...
  4. brahmakid11

    brahmakid11 Songster

    Aug 23, 2011
    sitting on the toilet
    i feel bad for you [​IMG]
  5. JulieNKC

    JulieNKC Crowing

    Sep 25, 2010
    Kansas City
    Hubby got tired of the chickens waiting by the front door for me and pooping everywhere, so mine are now confined to their run most of the time. It's about 25' by 50', so they have plenty of room, but I still feel bad for them. There are 2 baby pools in there for the ducks and turkey, a mini brush pile, and plenty of shady spots and sunny spots for them to dustbathe in. I do let them out a few hours before dusk every couple of days. That way they get some time to roam around, but not enough time to get bored and hang out by the door waiting for me.
  6. tarragon

    tarragon Chirping

    Mar 3, 2011
    Bothell, WA
    I'm right there with you. Our 3 ladies used to have access to the hubby even rigged the run fencing to be moveable so they could be on one area for 2 weeks then get moved. But after a few months of just munching nicely here and there, they began digging massive holes, completely clearing every blade of they are currently on bare dirt. I gave them some alfalfa, which they have been enjoying, but they really, really want back onto the grass. Once the fall rains start up and the grass starts greening back up, maybe they will get their wish.

    I'd love for them to have access to it, but geez, why do they have to completely destroy it?
  7. TheSpiceGirls

    TheSpiceGirls Crowing

    Oct 6, 2010
    Bay Area, CA
    Not sure if this will make you feel better but at least you will know you are not alone. I only let my hens free range when I'm outside with them because hawks are a problem. So I let them out this morning while I was doing chores, taking the trash out, cutting flowers to bring into the house, adding more DE to their house and dust baths spots, etc. So I was walking back and forth past them in the garden but not really watching them.

    I go back into the garage to put the DE away and as I'm walking back out the door, I hear a noise. I stop and go back in and my Buff Orpington has gone into the garage, flown up onto the table and is STANDING inside the meal worm tub helping herself. All I can see if her fluffy blond butt sticking up out of the back of the tub.

    I run over and scoop her out of there. Fortunately, she mostly at the worms and not the beetles or pupae so she didn't kill my next batch of worms. But she is STUFFED. I mean STUFFED like a Thanksgiving Turkey. I set her down and she just wattles back to her run.

    She had to have been up there for a good 10 minutes.

    Fortunately, she's just the cutest thing in the whole wide world so how can you be angry at that. It's my own fault for not getting a lid for that tupperware. Well, I have a lid but I need to cut holes in it and haven't gotten around to it till TODAY!

  8. rpchris

    rpchris Chirping

    Aug 27, 2011
    Saint Louis, MO
    Looks like they are forming crop circles.
  9. BasicallyHeather

    BasicallyHeather Chirping

    Aug 4, 2011
    Lowellville, Ohio

    "We come in give us treats!" [​IMG]
  10. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    I wish spraying them would work. I've hosed mine done and they still get on the porch!! [​IMG]

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