The grass is disappearing in the run... is that okay?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by huckleberryfarm, Sep 14, 2010.

  1. huckleberryfarm

    huckleberryfarm Chickenista

    Jan 7, 2010
    Greenwood, SC
    Hey! I have three coops sharing a huge run (24' x 90'). My chickens are all together although they end up sleeping with their friends in the various coops. I have about 90 chickens total (combo of LF and bantams). My run used to be lovely with all kinds of grass. Slowly it's disappearing and becoming a mess of poop and shavings. We do not live full-time on our farm. We stay out there some nights but I do go out every day to feed & water everyone and collect eggs. We have two dogs on the property and one loves to kill my chickens. If we're out there for any length of time, I'll chain the dog up and let the chickens out to free range but that's not every day.

    Is it okay that they don't free range every day. I give them grass clippings and other "green" things on occasion but haven't been doing it every day. They have Flock Blocks for grit. What else do I need to be doing? I'm dismayed at the condition of the run but I guess that's to be expected. Plus it's been really dry here for a few weeks which hasn't helped.

    Thoughts? Thanks!
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Sure it's okay, as long as they have plenty of feed and fresh water available every day. This lack of rain has been a killer. My chickens free range quite a bit, and I have a huge run for my tiny flock, and like you said, the pretty, lush green grass is looking pretty bad. Of course your run is going to look really bad eventually because come spring new grass probably won't get a chance to grow back unless you're free ranging, so it'll totally be gone by then. Your space is too big for sand. So what can you do??
  3. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    We have about the same situation, but only 24 birds. Grass just can not last. I weed with a dual purpose now. It is not as much drudgery when I know the girls will love fresh weeds dumped into their run. Also, I know those seeds won't be coming back to haunt me.
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have a large garden that I use for a run also. My grass has had a hard time this summer, and I watered it some. That helped a lot.

    But what has been really helpful is to fence off a portion with 4 foot chicken wire. I just have a 50 foot roll that I stake out in a circle. Then when the grass recovers (not even grows high, just thickens up and gets a little taller), I move the fencing.

    The chickens love it! Usually one or two chickens find their way in, and out (sometimes needing a little help- when it was hot I kept a pan of water in there so no one would die).

    That way, they get some fresh grass once in awhile, and it prevents it from being totally killed off. But around the coops, forget it. [​IMG]

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