Please help! Does Grass+Chickens=Wasteland????

ChickenCharmer

Songster
10 Years
May 2, 2009
1,279
18
171
The Redwoods of California
Does anyone have grass where the chickens roam?

We used to have grass covering the property, which then mysteriously disappeared, most likely because of the chickens. The land is now just dirt, without a single green thing to be seen, except for trees. I would like to have grass again, so can anyone PLEASE tell me of a grass species that chickens won't destroy!!!

I associate chickens with lush green pastures, and everyone's chicken pics show GRASS in the background. SO WHERE'S MY GRASS??????!!!!!!
What am I doing wrong?

Please, I need a chicken-proof grass species.
 

momoftwinsinwi

Songster
13 Years
May 29, 2007
414
144
202
Rochester, WI
good luck!! their poo is extremely harsh on grass, I think it's too acidic, I could be wrong with that term but it will kill all grass, keep them in a contained area and the rest of your yard should come back to life
 

danielbrown

Songster
10 Years
Feb 27, 2009
590
1
139
Spartanburg, sc
You either don't have a lovely flower bed for them to destroy instead of grass
or not enough room. It sounds like they don't have enough room. There will be holes and bare spots no matter what.
It's the eating and scratching that killed the grass.
Chicken poop is high in nitrogen, some is good, but too much will burn it.
 

ChickenCharmer

Songster
10 Years
May 2, 2009
1,279
18
171
The Redwoods of California
It's definitely not too little room, because the chickens are 100% free-range and they have the entire forest to destroy at their disposal. So I really don't understand the disappearance of the grass!

Unfortunately, the neighbor is complaining about the chickens coming down to his house to scratch up his flowers, so they will have to be contained.

I was going to keep them in a large contained area where we used to keep donkeys and goats, on a big hill. The donkeys and goats stripped that hill of anything green and I believe the chickens finished up the rest of the property. Anyway, I want the chickens' hill to be a grassy pasture instead of a dust bowl, and I was wondering if there are any, any types of grass that are chicken-resistant....... PLEASE HELP!!!

How do other people keep their chicken-pastures green???
 

shirauo

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 9, 2008
24
0
22
Wish I could offer some good advice-- our grass has steadily receded since we got chickens-- between bustbaths & scratching & poop... the edges are bald, dusty patches with holes.

I've recently started limitting their time on the grass or considering more controlled foraging-- they don't hang out & scratch where the grass is all full & thick in the middle- just the poor, struggling edges that I keep re-seeding. I'm thinking along the lines of chicken tractor or rotated grazing might help...
 

NotTheMomma

Songster
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
965
10
141
Virginia is for Chick Lovers!
Umm no idea! Mine still have LOTS of grass in their lot. Gotta mow it tomorrow as a matter of fact. Our grass is still thick, and a lush, and green. Guess we've had so much rain it washed the poop into the ground and the yard looks like we've fertilized it!

Mine free range everyday for several hours. Rarely is there a day they aren't out. They do scratch around every tree and help with weed eating that way! LOL!

We're surrounded by horse pastures and hay fields, so maybe that makes a difference? I've noticed mine in the fields, and the entire yard. I keep herding them away from the front yard though.

Maybe they need more land? Fewer chickens? Is it raining there lots? If not, maybe sprinkler on the lawn to help dilute the poop? Maybe once they've eaten all the bugs outta the yard, they won't keep scratching the grass up? Are they eating the grass or just scratching it up?

Mine have two designated dust bath areas. They do use them. They also love when I pull up weeds and disturb the dirt. They'll come running and scratching in that area then. Usually if it's a place I don't want them scratching, I put either some chick wire, or a tomato cage in that area until they forget about it.

Gotta fence in my yarden this weekend though, cause they LOVE the broccoli and I don't want them pecking my tomatoes when they ripen.

I have no idea what grass we have. Only owned the house a year. Whatever it is grows even in the shade though!
 

NotTheMomma

Songster
10 Years
Mar 31, 2009
965
10
141
Virginia is for Chick Lovers!
Just thought of what I have seen in our pastures:

fescue
clover
orchard grass
timothy

and probably some I don't know what is.

Maybe try some type of pasture grasses like I mentioned. Most feed stores have seed and they'll tell ya what kind is good in your area.

Sorry I hadn't read the rest of the thread before I replied the first time.

I see you have plenty of acreage, so I guess reseed, covering the seed with straw, old hay, etc., or lightly disking the area. Keep watered if at all possible. Othrewise, plant when it's going to be a rainy spell.

Seriously ask at the feed store though, and see what hte old hands recommend!
 

rufus

Crowing
12 Years
May 17, 2007
3,216
148
254
I have eight chickens in a backyard, and I have luxuriant bermuda grass. They wipped out all weeds and winter grass. The bermuda takes a licking and keeps on growning. I haven't mowed in two years.

But it is not cheap. This months water bill is $177.00.

Rufus
 

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