Are your chickens destroying your lawn?

Posted on August 5, 2020 by Ashlee Hall

Having chickens take up residency in your yard has a range of benefits - from eating pests that can damage your plants and lawn to providing free, nutrient rich fertiliser. 

Lawn and Chickens
Image courtesy of Lawn Solutions Australia

But, it isn’t all positives when it comes to your feathery friends - they also have an uncanny tendency to find soft spots in your lawn, as well as taking dust baths and digging holes all over the place.

If you are finding that your backyard has a few more craters and dust areas that you would like, we have listed out a few ways to ‘chicken-proof’ your lawn - give Rosemount Turf a call if you’d like further assistance with all your lawn needs.

Option 1 - Rehome your chickens

Although this may sound a little harsh, sometimes chickens just aren’t suited to your yard. There are plenty of rehoming facilities that can help you out, so take a look at the ones local to you. 

Alternatively, if you are on the lookout for some chickens then these rehoming programs are again the way to go!

Option 2 - Build an enclosure

One of the most logical choices is to build an enclosure - one that either allows your feathery friends to access just a small section of your lawn or bans them altogether from having grass underfoot. This can be achieved by either fencing off the areas you don’t want your chickens getting into or, alternatively, building a large coup that will protect your chickens yet give them enough area to scratch and make a mess without bothering your garden and lawn areas.

Option 3 - Temporary plant cages

If you were thinking that your family poultry should have more of a free-range lifestyle, consider just placing temporary wire cages over any recently planted areas. This can be especially effective for fruit and vegetable plants that are ripening, as it saves them from an elusive chicken attack.

Option 4 - Provide a bathtub 

This may sound odd, but hear us out - if you are worried about your chickens making a mess of your lawn, provide them with a kitty litter box (or something of a similar size and style) filled with coarse sand. This will direct their attention away from your turf and towards a great dust bath location!

Option 5 - Lawn tractors

We have mentioned these previously, however lawn tractors (otherwise known as chicken mowers) allow your chickens to access your lawn… but under your control. This is a common choice used by chicken owners, as it is a compromise for both owners and chickens. A chicken mower is a portable pen that usually has a wire bottom, which prevents your chooks from digging up your lawn, but constantly provides them with a fresh supply of grass. Simply move the pen around your yard every couple of days, resulting in both fresh grass and fresh fertiliser.

Option 6 - Wait and see if they can coexist

It is possible for your chickens and your turf to live in harmony, but there are a few provisos. If your lawn is nice and dense, and doesn’t have any bald spots, you are more likely to have a happy lawn and also happy chickens. 

Chickens will aerate your soil as they peck and scratch, as well as eating leaves, weeds, bugs and grass clippings. If you do have some areas in your lawn that are struggling, you can place down some wire mesh flat on the ground to protect them. The mesh will prevent the chickens from digging in that area until the lawn has repaired. 

Finally, choosing the right kind of turf for your yard is a big component when you have chickens. Have a chat to Rosemount Turf and they can assist in choosing the best lawn type to suit your needs (and your pets) today.

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