Worried about my grass


In the Brooder
11 Years
Sep 19, 2008
My mother, who seriously does not want me to get chickens, told me that a friend of hers has chickens and they have turned her yard into dirt scratching for bugs.

If I let my chickens roam free in my fenced in yard will I have to say goodbye to grass?

Also as for the smell, is it easier to keep the smell at bay if they roam over the yard or if you keep them confined to one area and clean up often?
It really depends on how many chickens you have, how big the yard is, and how many hours per day they are out. If they had an enclosed run, you could control the amount of grass they each and scratch around in. Also, as far as "the smell" - I don't have any odors coming from my 15' x 40' chicken enlclosure (it has 7 chickens in it now). I would think that would also be dependent on how many you're keeping and in what amount of space.
Like the previous poster said, it would pepend on how many, and how much space, but in my experience, the only thing they will get into is your flower beds. Anywhere there is a bit of dirt for them to take a dust bath in. The will dig holes in the dirt to loosen it up for dusting.

Tha being said, I just take a corn broom and sweep it back into the hole when they are done, and it's really not that bad.
They will eat your garden and grass, but if you have enough space it won't be an issue. Try letting them out for only a couple of hours a day at first and see how it goes.
I have a 10x10 dog run - grass was gone within 1 month. BUT, I don't let them free range due to the predators, so I expected it. If they free range, I think you would have better grass. Or just go with a chicken tractor that you can move on a daily basis. The smell? Well, I don't notice mine anymore, I use the deep litter method. Works great!!!!

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