Planting grass in the run?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by melissastraka, May 13, 2009.

  1. melissastraka

    melissastraka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    Hoquiam, WA
    I keep trying but my darn chickens keep eating the grass How do you keep grass there. It is a premanent coop because there are so many of them that i cant keep moving it. They have made it into a mud hole and you dont want to see what they have done to the tree roots around the run. I am waiting for a wind to knock them all over. These guys really like their bugs! They do get to free range for a bit but like i said...there are so many that i can only let a couple of pens out at a time. Suggestions?
  2. Brelansmama

    Brelansmama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 24, 2009
    McMinnville, Oregon
    I haven't tried this yet, but I have heard of some building a square, out of 2x4's or something, covering the top with screen, leaving the bottom open to the ground, and planting the grass seed inside.
    Hopefully the result would be the grass growing up through the screen, then the chickens couldn't get to the seeds/roots to kill the grass, they can just eat the tops of the grass when it grows through the screen.
    Hope that makes sense!
  3. jmetzger

    jmetzger Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 30, 2009
    Baltimore, OH
    thats a cool idea. Let us know if it works.
  4. JayBird+16

    JayBird+16 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Fitzwilliam, NH
    I'm about to try this in my yard. First with wheat grass, to see if it will work and then with something more premanent. I think this idea should work very nicely.
  5. NuthatchKnollChickens

    NuthatchKnollChickens Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 23, 2008
    Ithaca, NY
    That is a cool idea. Sounds like it's worth a try.

    Mine turned their run into dirt pretty quickly, so last fall I started putting down straw in there. They really like it. It breaks down from all the scratching, plus being out in the rain and all, and I think it harbors at least some bugs and worms underneath because I see the chickens picking up tasty morsels when they scratch around in it. I've built up a layer that's a several inches deep by now, and the bottom of that layer is pretty well composted. There are now some weeds growing up in the run through this straw layer and the chickens are dining on those. Guess it's acting like a mulch. We had quite a bit of rain at one point this spring, but the straw kept the run from getting muddy at all. It also looks tidy.
  6. ijon1

    ijon1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2009
    gaines, michigan
    I planted grass and had it growing good before I put my chickens in the run. That was last year. They tend to tear it up.
  7. Year of the Rooster

    Year of the Rooster Sebright Savvy

    Jun 27, 2008
    West Central Ohio
    It's impossible. No matter how much you plant in there, or how tall you make it, they will eat it down back to nothing. Unless you have A LOT of space per chicken, then you can't. Sorry.. You may have to find some schedule so that each pen gets some freerange time. Other than that - Nope!
  8. ecopepper

    ecopepper Out Of The Brooder

    May 11, 2009
    Orlando Florida
    Can't you put Diatmatious earth down with straw? I think it keeps mites away and clumps the poo together a bit...I think the poo is too much acid for any part of chicken area and will burn the grass...I could be wrong cuz I am new at this...
    Last edited: May 13, 2009
  9. chickens3

    chickens3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Eau Claire, Michigan
    Well try putting the seeds a little bit underground and they will not know they are there and they will not eat them.
  10. Chickenmaven

    Chickenmaven Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2009
    Quote:HOWEVER, they will eat the grass the second it sprouts. Trying to have grass in a run is a fool's errand. We mow with a bagger & throw it in the run. They gobble it up.

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