Short or tall grass?

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by bnentrup, Jun 13, 2010.

  1. bnentrup

    bnentrup Chillin' With My Peeps

    175
    0
    109
    May 5, 2010
    Central Indiana
    Well, it seems as though my cornish X are not grazing much. I decided a few weeks back to leave a patch (of about 3000sq ft) in my yard for the chicken tractor to call home. It is about 8" tall in most areas. It looks lush and the grass is plentiful. However, the cornish are NOT putting a dent in the area in a 24-hour period. Therefore, I let it go 48-hours this time before moving.

    The poo added up indeed, and created a nice crust on the grass, but the grass was pretty much untouched. I am sure they grazed some, but NO dirt was exposed at all.

    Therefore, I decided to go ahead and cut it down 1/2 height, and I will see how that does tomorrow. Maybe the grass was too 'woody' for their liking. Regardless, I did want them to get down to the soil where additional protein would be.

    Anyone else experienced the cornish denial of tall grass?

    After I move the tractor, I take a rake to the grass/poo and fluff a bit back to new. Although you can tell something was there, it looks like it could easily rebound in less than a week. This practice is also reducing some of the nitrogen burn that I have experienced with my other chickens in the past when over one spot too long.
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I can't imagine CX foraging if they have 24 hr free choice feed available that requires no effort(not sure if you do, but most are doing it this way). I could see them scratching or pecking around a little but not really foraging for food or greens.
     
  3. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    7,187
    21
    271
    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    Get geese! They will have your placed neatly mowed in a jiffy!
     
  4. bnentrup

    bnentrup Chillin' With My Peeps

    175
    0
    109
    May 5, 2010
    Central Indiana
    Quote:may just do that.. or heck, why not sheep!

    Actually, would consider going to the Freedom Ranger next as most here are experimenting with.
     
  5. uhuh555

    uhuh555 Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    0
    109
    Oct 18, 2009
    Delton
    We keep the grass about a foot tall for the cornish x and turkeys. They seem to graze the most when it is a foot or less and eat less from the feeders. Also, we try to move them to another enclosure before they eat it to the dirt. The grass recovers quicker, usually within 2-3 weeks. Cornish x seem to graze better if they are feed chopped greens/sprout from day one while in the brooder, the turkeys seem to be natural grazers.
     
  6. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    5,146
    10
    251
    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    I am moving my CX's around in a tractor mostly to keep the poop distributed. They forage a little but nothing compared to my layers or my free ranging CXX's.
     
  7. bnentrup

    bnentrup Chillin' With My Peeps

    175
    0
    109
    May 5, 2010
    Central Indiana
    Quote:Well, the other negative with the TALL grass that I am finding is that I cannot easily rake or scoop the poop. I actually want to use that great gooey suff in my compost, and right now it just sticks to the grass (And I do not want to just cut the sod and take it with me). In the shorter grass areas, I can scrape up with a shovel.

    Yesterday, I cut the grass down to 4" (tallest setting on mower).

    I want my cake and eat it too!
     
  8. KatyTheChickenLady

    KatyTheChickenLady Bird of A Different Feather

    5,146
    10
    251
    Dec 20, 2008
    Boise, Idaho
    lol, I just consider mine free fertilizer for the grass!
     
  9. Hillsvale

    Hillsvale Chillin' With My Peeps

    922
    2
    131
    Oct 20, 2009
    Hillsvale, Nova Scotia
    I have restricted my meaties diet since week three... they get feed in the morning and feed when being put to bed, we will sprinkle a scoop of feed around their fixed area (about 600' ft) several times a day to help tempt them ... they are great at eating most anything including the grass (though weeds aren't their thing) at the moment I am considering taking their fence away to let them roam farther. I am hesitating because more baby chicks come tomorrow and they would be able to get out of the pasture fencing due to their tiny size..

    The geese and turkeys are excellent at grass and bug maintenance....
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by