to reseed my lawn, I have to build a run for my free range chickens?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by siouxbee, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. siouxbee

    siouxbee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our lawn is in pretty bad shape, and we were going to re-seed this year by raking good and putting down appropriate grass seed. But duh, I won't be able to free range my hens during this time, right? They'll just eat it all up.

    I don't have a big run for them (7 hens, 3 roos in a 4 x 8 coop over a 4 x 8 run) since they run around the yard and into the woods all day long.

    Do I have any options other than building a bigger run?
     
  2. Chickemee

    Chickemee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Maybe you could fence off the part of your lawn you want to fix.
     
  3. siouxbee

    siouxbee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yeah, I guess I'll resign myself to building them a run, because my entire lawn is in bad shape. oh well.

    anyone have any ideas how long they'll have to stay off the newly seeded lawn before the grass seedlings are hardy enough?
     
  4. Aun <HIS><

    Aun <HIS>< Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yea, that's tough. A 4x8 for 10 chickens (3 roos!) probably won't be big enough for them, especially considering they won't be able to go on the grass for a long time. Otherwise, they'll just eat up the new grass. Three roos in that space for a long time would be really hard on them, I would think.
     
  5. Aun <HIS><

    Aun <HIS>< Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If it were me, I'd keep them off of it for an entire season.
     
  6. siouxbee

    siouxbee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yeah, one is a wyandotte, and the other 2 are black silkies, but I haven't been able to find a home for them where they won't end up in the stewpot. These guys are our family -- and we're vegetarians! ;-)

    a whole season? argh! should've done the lawn before we got the chicks! oh well. guess I'm in for a crappy lawn.
     
  7. kstaven

    kstaven Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Rake in grass seed and clover. The clover will come up first and act like a cover crop allowing the roots of the grass to get established.
     
  8. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Siouxbee,
    I am not sure where you live, but in the NE here, fall is the best time to reseed a lawn (or very early spring), because of crabgrass. It only germinates in warm (no frost) weather, so if you try to reseed a lawn up here in warm weather, you'll end up with mostly crabgrass, especially by the second year. Here in southern Maine, the BEST time to reseed a lawn is in the first half of October. The grass has enough warm days to establish -it doesn't mind a little frost- without competition from crabgrass.

    In any case, does your yard have any part of it that's not grass where the chickens could still roam, like around the perimeter? Last summer I used a cheap roll of wire fencing that I just propped up in various places to kep the girls off a particular area (or made a circular "corral" where I WANTED them to be). They totally respected the fence even though it was only 3 feet tall and could be knocked over by a gust of wind!!


    One thought I had is that you could use such fencing to close off half your lawn this early spring, and reseed it, get it growing all summer.... and then in fall, fence off the other half and reseed, and it'll be good by next spring.

    One last thing: we had really good luck (doing a whole huge lawn reseeding) with the products from gardensalive.com. All of their lawn fertilizers and stuff are , if not organic, at least free of toxic chemical perticides and herbicides. Now that we have chickens I won't use any traditional petrochemical fertilzers or treated seeds in our lawn because the girls eat the grass and we eat the eggs!

    Hope this helps,
    Stacey
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  9. All my hens are roosters

    All my hens are roosters Out Of The Brooder

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    With only 10 chickens I wouldn't worry about it unless your lawn is really small. Sure, they will do a good job thinning out the new lawn, but shouldn't be able to munch it all. Try it and if it's really a disaster, THEN think about building a run. I'd agree that 3 roos in that close of quarters with hens is likely to be a difficult scenario.
     
  10. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    If it were me I would simply buy turf.... I have never had much luck with seeding and when I finally did break down and bought it I kicked myself for not having done so ages ago.
     

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