1. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Aug 25, 2010
    First one is about the run. I read on another forum that someone used sod in their chicken run then laid chicken wire over it. It allow the birds to have fresh grass and bugs without letting them eat all of the way down to bare dirt. Has anyone else tried this? and did it work for you? I wonder about in the winter when the grass isn't growing if they'll still eat all of the way down. My other question is are their "hawk resistant" breeds? I have alot of hawks in my area and I was wondering if I went with bigger breeds the hawks would leave them alone. I'd like to free range them during the day, but I won't be able to constantly keep an eye on them. Before I go to work in the afternoon I'd put them in the run, so they'd get at least 4-5 hours of free ranging a day.
     
  2. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Chickens like to dig down a little and dust bathe not to mention scratching in the dirt so I would think chicken wire would make that difficult. Also it may not be good for their feet to be walking on chicken wire all the time. Some people will make what they call a salad bar (or several) by using a square of landscape timbers and stapling the hardware cloth with 1/2" holes on top and the chickens can hop up there and eat grass through the holes but not scratch the roots out. That's what we plan to do-my husband has some 2' lengths of timbers he had for something else and I'm going to use those to make one or two salad bars.

    eta: don't know about hawks. It might be better to have a separate thread for that question in the predators forum.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  3. Frost Homestead

    Frost Homestead eggmonger

    1,452
    16
    148
    Jul 9, 2011
    Lago Vista, TX
    Here's some pics of someone who did what you're talking about as far as placing wire over the grass. Not sure if she used sod though, I think they just tilled it and added grass seed.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=67374

    As far as the hawks go, I couldn't say. Where used to keep chickens free range there were lots of red shouldered hawk and they would take any bird they could, even the ones we thought too large to be snagged by a hawk. We lost the majority of them. Now we only keep ours in a caged run. But I guess you never know.

    edited to correct typo
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2011
  4. Usingmyrights

    Usingmyrights Out Of The Brooder

    23
    0
    22
    Aug 25, 2010
    I wondered the same thing about the wire on the feet, but someone had mentioned to me that some birds are kept in raised cages and are fine. The birds would get let out at least a few hours a day 3 or 4 days a week, at minimum. The "salad bar" idea sounds like a good one though. I realized that I should have made two threads with the hawk question in the predators section after I posted this one.
     
  5. gale65

    gale65 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think I'm confused. If the chicken wire is on the floor of the run, where would they get let out to? Do you mean that they would free range outside the run for a few hours a day?

    Also it's true that some chickens are raised in cages but those are usually commercial operations and not really in the best interest of the chickens' comfort. I think my chickens look so happy when they're scratching in their yard and especially when they dig a little hole and roll around in it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by