“Will chickens ruin my lawn?” This is a common question from new chicken owners. While chickens can be hard on a lawn, they don’t necessarily have to destroy it. Here are three ways to keep chickens from ruining your lawn. These are also great ways to keep a garden AND chickens!
With all of these methods your lawn should be well established. Do not let chickens anywhere near newly planted grass. They will eat your new lawn before it ever gets going. Chickens will eat grass seed before it even sprouts!
Related posts: Is Letting Your Chickens Free Range Right For You and How To Raise Your Chickens On An Urban Pasture For The Best Eggs
Keep Chickens From Ruining Your Lawn
The first and most obvious way is to never let them access it. If you have a dedicated chicken coop and run you can put up permanent fencing and keep them inside it. If you choose this method, dedicate as much space as you possibly can for your chicken yard.
While 10 square feet per bird may be commonly recommended for a chicken run, it really isn’t much space if that’s the only place they will ever live. You will also want to bring your chickens a variety of foods and fresh plants to eat. If you feed them on only pellets the eggs will not have that vibrant yolk we all love so much.
The second method is to give your chickens access to a large expanse of grass. Chickens that have 250 square feet per bird can free range on grass without it eventually turning into a dust patch. If you choose this method, your main concern will be predators.
You may lose birds to hawks during the day. Bushes and trees to hide under can help a little bit to protect your flock, but aren’t a guarantee. Having a rooster can also help protect your hens from land predators during the day, although there’s not much they can do to attacks from above.
And finally, the third option is a combination. You can rotate your chickens through paddocks or various areas of grass. By rotating their location you can move the birds before they eat down any particular area too far. You will also be spreading their manure to fertilize your own land.
An electric fence works great for this, as long as your birds aren’t too fond of hopping. My birds are nuts and would jump a 48 inch electric fence without even blinking. But they are flighty bantams. A stately meat hybrid will likely stay put much better.
How do you like to blend lawn and chickens? Share in the comments!
Want To Raise Happy Chickens?
Subscribe for our newsletter and get the free email course Intro To Backyard Chickens as well as a free printable checklist to walk you through step by step!