Regrowing a Large Area of Grass with a Flock.

TheBeardedNerd

Songster
6 Years
Jan 20, 2015
49
15
104
I've got about 150 yards of land fenced off for my birds that they free range in. I want to go about the best way I can to try and regrow as much much of the grass as I can.

Do you guys recommend putting down new sod, or putting down a large amount of seed under hay? Does anyone here have personal experience with either method? Like I said, I have about 150 yards of land and 25 birds, so I think I should have enough room to regrow the grass if I do things properly!
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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Is it 150 sq. yds. or 150X150?
I would divide it into half or preferably thirds so you can rotate pasture giving one parcel time to recover.
I would also not focus on grass. Grass tends to be too fibrous and not particularly nutritious.
I would focus more on tender forbs. Clover, alfalfa, radish, kale, beets, turnips and peas in winter and buckwheat in summer.
 

TheBeardedNerd

Songster
6 Years
Jan 20, 2015
49
15
104
it's 150 square yards, sorry about that. I was also definitely thinking of adding in some other types of foliage, so I really appreciate that! Would it be okay to have grass in there as a way to supplement/aid the other foliage in growing?

I was planning on doing Bermuda Grass as a base because I want something that grows thick, can stand up to some wear and tear, & grows fast in a variety of soil conditions. Then I was going to add in Clover, alfalfa, radish, kale, beets, turnips, & buckwheat.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Nov 23, 2010
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It is OK to add grass. While it is durable, I just don't think Bermuda would be their favorite forage.
I just wanted to say that I have some turf type fescue and other hardy grasses that are the only thing left when I rotate paddocks. That tells me that they may not be the chickens' favorite forage. If you can get the alfalfa started early, the roots grow so deep, it is hard for the chickens to kill it. Same goes for dandelions. It is weird to see dandelion flowers with no foliage around the base because the chickens have eaten them all.
Rotating pasture is the key to success with your plan. Otherwise everything will disappear close to the coop.
Soil compaction and high phosphorus are the biggest problems keeping things from growing around a coop. The more rotating you do, the better the opportunity for things close to the coop to recover.
 
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TheBeardedNerd

Songster
6 Years
Jan 20, 2015
49
15
104
So should I aerate areas that are compacted before reseeding? is there anything that can be done to remove phosphorous from the soil?

Rotating the pasture is no problem. I appreciate the advice on the types of grass. I'll probably end up going with a really solid mix of everything since I also have goats that would benefit from the added foliage.
 

TheBeardedNerd

Songster
6 Years
Jan 20, 2015
49
15
104
Yeah, I had noticed that shortly after I started reading, haha. I appreciate the info very much.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
12 Years
Nov 12, 2009
10,143
15,376
726
western South Dakota
I am not sure if it is on here, but recently I read an article or post, about a guy who tried to do this very thing, so I was wondering if you searched this idea here? He said it was not worth the work in the long run. But it might have been a different set up.
 

TheBeardedNerd

Songster
6 Years
Jan 20, 2015
49
15
104
I am not sure if it is on here, but recently I read an article or post, about a guy who tried to do this very thing, so I was wondering if you searched this idea here? He said it was not worth the work in the long run. But it might have been a different set up.

I'm sure it's difficult but I'm fairly sure I have enough rotatable pasture to get the job done properly, even if it it takes some time. I'm less doing this for the chickens and more for my goats.
 

andreanar

Crowing
5 Years
May 16, 2014
2,832
4,904
437
Finger Lakes, NY
I'm planning on doing this very same thing in our area. I'm just going to use fence netting as a barrier to rotate them. My girls have a huge area, but still manage to mostly pick it clean.
 

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