Giving your chickens access to fresh, green grass is a great way to help them stay healthy and happy!
However, they sometimes make it challenging to maintain your lawn or pasture.
If you’re planning on reseeding sometime soon, you’re probably wondering whether your chickens will bother the seed you use.
Chickens will happily eat your grass seed. They peck at everything they can find, from bugs to grass to seeds of all kinds. To keep the seed safe until it has time to grow, you’ll need to take preventative measures to stop your chickens from reaching it.
To keep your grass healthy, it’s inevitable you’ll need to do some work to maintain it from time to time.
This is especially true when your birds use your lawn for food and exploration.
Keep reading for tips on keeping your chickens from sabotaging your new grass before it has time to grow.
How To Stop Chickens from Eating Your Grass Seed
If you have pastured birds, the simplest solution is to only plant half the space at once.
Move your fence in so your chickens don’t have access to the seeded area.
Once you’ve got the grass plant rather than seed, it’s safe to give your chickens the other side of the pasture again.
Then you’ll need to plant the remaining section.
Our chickens need access to plenty of grass, especially if you have a lot of the little guys.
So, if you don’t have the space to do this with their pasture, or if you don’t use fences for your feathered friends, don’t worry!
We have some more tricks for you.
- Cover the seeds with soil or mulch
- Use mesh or chicken wire
- Give your friends plenty of alternative food options
If you currently have a lawn without grass or an area where the plants are sparse, consider using soil or mulch.
Use a garden rake to cover the grass seed with about an inch of soil or mulch.
This way, your birdies won’t be able to get at the seed.
You don’t want to bury the seeds entirely under the ground, though, or each little grass plant will struggle to grow past all the dirt.
It’s also essential you don’t pack the ground too firmly over the seeds as this might prevent healthy grass from sprouting.
We recommend using a garden rake to cover the area you’ve planted loosely but completely.
Make sure you’re using safe products for your pals, though.
Nothing with unfamiliar and unsafe chemicals should be used around your chickens.
Make A Chicken Fence
Another possibility is to use chicken wire or another kind of mesh to cover the area you’ve planted.
For those of you with free-range chickens or any birds who spend a lot of time outside the chicken coop, you’re probably used to your chickens getting into things they shouldn’t.
Maybe you have a vegetable garden your pals are always getting into, for example.
Whatever the case, there are plenty of ways this solution will be helpful for you.
Mesh netting will be best if you want to keep your chickens out of a seasonal garden.
Berry farmers often use this to keep wild birds from pecking at their produce.
However, it may be best to use chicken wire to cover the new patch of grass for seeds on the ground.
Use a wooden frame to hold the wire up if you decide to do this.
Your birds won’t be able to get at the seeds at ground level this way, but they will be able to eat plenty of grass.
This might seem like an obvious solution, but it’s essential to be sure your chickens have enough other food to eat.
Give them lots of chicken feed and ensure it’s available outside and inside.
Offer treats like lettuce, safe fruits, and a different type of grass or other plant life from what your birds are used to.
When they have these alternatives, your friends will be less likely to spend their time pecking at the seeds they find on the ground.
Is Grass Seed Bad for Chickens?
While it isn’t exactly an ideal chicken food, eating this seed isn’t harmful to your birds most of the time.
It’s usually more of a nuisance to you when you’re spending time and money to give your friends access to healthy grass.
However, if you think there’s a chance your chickens will be eating the grass seed you use, choose the seed carefully.
Sometimes these products contain chemicals we don’t expect to see in them.
Be careful not to expose your birdies to any unknown sort of chemical.
This is also something to watch out for if you plan to use any kind of fertilizer when planting your lawn or pasture.
We always need to be mindful and put safety first.
Before using a product, ask yourself whether it would be safe if your chickens somehow ingested it.
Do Chickens Ruin Grass?
What about after your lawn has grown in?
Will your birds damage the area they use as pasture?
Over time, your chickens can eat down their pasture to a point where you have more weeds and dirt than grass.
However, if you maintain the area by replanting grass seeds and allowing the plant life to regrow, this shouldn’t become a problem.
If you frequently walk where your chickens roam, be cautious of chicken poop.
So long as a little chicken poop doesn’t bother you, there isn’t much damage your birds can do.
Chicken manure is a good fertilizer for your lawn.
It has a high nitrogen content, though, and nitrogen can burn your grass if there is too much of it.
So, you have to be aware of how many chickens are grazing on your lawn at one time.
It’s all about balance with these little guys!
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