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Growing Weeds for Chickens

 
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Very new, but excited to start!

Moving to a place in the country. First time homeowners, hopefully first-time chicken owners next spring.

We'll have a little under two acres, the backyard is basically one big flat lawn that backs up to farmland. I'd like to try paddock shift with a small flock of layers (maybe 6-10) and I'd love to grow plants in the paddocks for them to eat such as clover, dandelions, alfalfa, etc. But I also don't want to devalue the property, since we may very well sell and move in the future.

I'm planning on designing a handsome layout to the chicken zone and garden so it still looks nice, but it will definitely not just be a big lawn anymore. The neighbors have chickens and goats, and across the street is a full-blown farm, so growing things in the backyard would not be odd for that area.

But a large patch full of "weeds" is another matter.

If I plant things for my chickens to graze, how difficult will it be to "reset" that area when/if it comes time to sell?

Can there be a large square area that's just not conventional lawn, or would that be a problem for a potential buyer? (Maybe a better question for our realtor lol)

Thanks so much!
 
pollinator
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Location: Denmark 57N
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Just don't plant anything woody where the chickens will be and it will be very simple to bushhog all the "weeds" down and resow with grass seed if you need to turn it back into something resembling a lawn. remember chickens do like grass as well so you can just have a mix of things with grass and then just mowing it will make it look acceptable again.

6-10 chickens do you have 10 people in your household? that's going to be a huge amount of eggs if you are just two.
 
Carey Hb
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Skandi Rogers wrote:Just don't plant anything woody where the chickens will be and it will be very simple to bushhog all the "weeds" down and resow with grass seed if you need to turn it back into something resembling a lawn. remember chickens do like grass as well so you can just have a mix of things with grass and then just mowing it will make it look acceptable again.

6-10 chickens do you have 10 people in your household? that's going to be a huge amount of eggs if you are just two.



Thank you so much! That's great advice.

I have seen yards where creeping ground cover has completely taken over a part of the lawn, and I wouldn't know how to repair it (personally, I think it looks nice) without tearing it out to bare ground and planting grass from scratch.

May I ask what "bushog" means? Like I said, super new!

We are a family of four, I eat 4-6 eggs a day just on my own lol. But maybe fewer layers and instead have some broilers? I'm still researching. :)
 
pollinator
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stuff like perennial white clover is good for chicken forage, and can just be mowed and will act fairly lawn-like if you have to go that way. the very grass-lawn-centric may take issue with it but it sounds like you’re not in keeping-up-with-the-joneses lawn land.

we’ve got 9 layers and have never once had too many eggs (family of 2, regularly eating eggs + baking) - in fact we could have stood to have the peak of egg production season last a while longer this year. we have dual-purpose birds, it could be that real productive layers would lay enough more to change my opinion there but i doubt it.

bush-hogging is just more serious mowing.
 
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