Will grass turn into dirt in a chicken run even if it's large???

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by georgialee, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. georgialee

    georgialee Songster

    Apr 9, 2009
    Knoxville, TN
    We're going to be putting our chickens in our back yard. I have plenty of 10x10x6 chain link dog kennel panels available of the run but I was wondering how big it would need to be so that the ground underneath doesn't turn to dirt? I have 7 chicks coming and the coop will be 4x6 not including the nest boxes (so I guess that adds another foot to the exterior dimensions)... do you think we should do a 10x10, 10x20 or 20x20 run? The will probably be in the run most of the time since they'll be sharing the yard with our Irish Wolfhound... he's very gentle but also very large and clumsy so I'm not sure how he'll do with the chickens. My DH is concerned with the look of our yard so he really doesn't want the grass to be eaten up and only dirt left. Any recommendations?

  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Even with the best of intentions and planning it will turn to dirt. The only way to keep part of it grassy is to lock the chickens out of it for the grass to grow and switch them back and forth between the 2 areas.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Nothing you can build out of chainlink panels is going to be big enough to keep things from going to dirt.

    If you build two runs and rotate between them, they will go to dirt more slowly but they *will* anyhow.

    You could use a tractor (moveable coop) but while you can prevent a single area from going completely to dirt, the tradeoff is that you leave a trail of pretty thrashed-looking damaged areas all across your lawn, where the tractor has been and the grass hasn't recovered yet. Also there are other drawbacks unique to tractors.

    I would suggest showing your DH some pics of coops with dirt runs (often topped with sand or gravel or suchlike, for hygeine and aesthetics) that are attractively built, attractively landscaped, and do not look the way he's envisioning a beaten-down-to-dirt chicken run. I know off the top of my head that Buff Hooligans has an excellent example (use the 'search' feature, above), so do many many other BYCers.

    Good luck, have fun,


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