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Thread: Sand or grass

  
  1. #1
    Member ALwannabe's Avatar
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    Sand or grass

    So there are different opinions on this matter and I'd like to hear everyone's opinion or what you use to keep chickens on.. and why you prefer one over the other.. benefits of one vs the other.. and downsides of each

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  3. #2
    Senior Member don128's Avatar
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    Re: Sand or grass

    I have to pen mine, so I put sand in the pens for a couple reasons. The sand helps with less mud and works as a good grit also. I would rather have them on grass thow. I have a few portable pens that I move around in the grass wich is nice, grass is always a healthy option for fowl if your able. I do let alot of hens and pullets run free range during the day and they are very healthy, then I have to close them up at night because of predators.

  4. #3
    Senior Member Quapaw Kid's Avatar
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    Re: Sand or grass

    Moveable pens or cords are great for one season but after that there isn't a fresh piece of ground on the yard . Sand is a decent base but you need horse manure and/ or leaves/humus/peat moss on top ... Those don't pack and the denser chicken poop sifts down through and their pens stay fresher ... Once you get the deep litter balance going right it almost makes a mulching pile thing giving back nutrients .

    The longer you have virgin ground on a farm , the better off you are ... And rotating or moving fowl doesn't improve their quality of life .. Rotating through a trailer park isn't the same as living in just one nice upscale home

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  6. #4
    Senior Member danitor's Avatar
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    Re: Sand or grass

    Tie cords on grass. Sand and compost in pens.

  7. #5
    Senior Member southernX's Avatar
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    Re: Sand or grass

    Grass hands down..................

  8. #6
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    Re: Sand or grass

    Grass growing from healthy live soil.

  9. #7
    Member ALwannabe's Avatar
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    Re: Sand or grass

    I've always figured grass was better but let's say I have cords and pens.. I've noticed that in the pens it only takes about 2-3 days before there is no grass.. and you move the pens every 3 days to fresh grass.. eventually I would run out of room to move them to.. so should I just go ahead and put the ones in pens on sand to start with? And why is it that some fowl will just absolutely destroy the grass while others don't even seem to bother it?

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  11. #8
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    Re: Sand or grass

    Grass ,well watered, fertilized ,limed ,and mowed grass. Im fortunate enough that I live in a Sandy area, so mud and compacted soil isn't a problem. You guys that live in clay type and rocky soil, I'm sure y'all have a time with pens being messy when it's raining for days in a row. I'd say sand if grass is not available. Hard to beat grass.

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    Senior Member Nauvoo's Avatar
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    Re: Sand or grass

    I think a man would do well to have about 3X the space he needs and hold himself to that. Kinda like running cattle on 3 pastures, 2 in use, 1 refreshing. Some of y’all might be set up similar, but I don’t remember being on a yard worked like that, my own definitely included.

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  15. #10
    Senior Member CA whitetoppy06's Avatar
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    Re: Sand or grass

    I tried seeding fescue this year.. the two patches didn’t take where I had zero grass, but the holes in lawn where I put seed has filled somewhat.. the fescue supposedly drought tolerant.. last year I had less seed but it was a mix seed mostly Kentucky blue grass and it is a solid patch but starting out I did cover it with pen as the birds and wild rabbits like to ruin it.. now that it’s established it’s tough..

    but it if I put a pen on it in a week it would be hurting.. the Bermuda and fescue seem to get scratched to dust faster..


    Sand and grass buddy I’m in same boat or worst my soil ain’t worth the chicken crap lol but I plant something it grows slowly get more and more of what you feel the birds need, rotate them birds on grass give em a day or few hours on grass, water grass after and move others to different parts..

    i wish i sh I had a football field..

    and sand is inexpensive if you go get river sand, but is mercury still traceable from mining? And all the glass and black muck.. if you do collect river sand they say to put in a drum with water over night and bad stuff will leach out but I’m in a mind to believe it settles at the bottom too..

  16. #11
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    Re: Sand or grass

    I have 24 flypens inside concrete floors use straw in them have 24 5 foot Mexican style pens under carports concrete floor use straw in them as well 40 tiecords and teepees and about 50 4 foot dome pens for staggs wish I had everything on grass but I can't move flypens or carports

  17. #12
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    Re: Sand or grass

    Every thing on grass here except the unmovable pens. (Brood and fly pens) Sand in the brood pens, horse manure in the fly pens.

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  19. #13
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    Re: Sand or grass

    I used sand in mine at old yard location because I was limited on space and needed to bring up elevation. Worked great and looked good as well plus they seemed to get the grit they needed and I also felt like it was a continuous work out for them as well. Atleast I know it's more strenuous for a human to walk down the sandy beach over a grassy field. But if I had it my way they would be on fresh grass and as a previous post said with what I would call an intensive grazing rotation. My new yard location is on a beautiful grassy pasture and I intend to do my best rotating on fresh grass and I'm finding about every other day moving is what's needed to not completely demish the grass for it to have a fighting chance to regrow before I'll move back on them spaces but it does get tiresome moving pens but I also never intend to have a major operation but a nice small well balanced yard of great fowl

  20. #14
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    Re: Sand or grass

    Seems all ways a trade off. Most of the time if fowl are on good grass, the sun is beating down on them all day. If they are in the cool shade, the grass won't grow very well. I have seen beautiful healthy fowl raised in both environments. So I guess you just have to do the best you can with what you have got. Thankfully chickens can thrive in a wide range of environments.

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  22. #15
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    Re: Sand or grass

    I don’t have but probably 30 chickens penned and about 30 more young fowl running that will need penned soon but I move my pens every day and the grass never fully breaks down and recovers fairly quickly and I have 7ft tie cords idk what the exact length is for them not to break down the grass too bad but at 7ft it stays in pretty good condition since I started moving them daily health has went up they cut wings and get very active all morning even my older birds


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  23. #16
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    Re: Sand or grass

    The soil on my yard is really healthy. Ten inch night crawlers dark rich soil but I have hardly no grass. I lime and fertiliz all pens and ratartill the cages when they pack hard. I have a mantis which is nice and small. I fertilize and lime my entire yard every year. I wish I had grass. We don’t use string walks

  24. #17
    Member GA OUTLAW's Avatar
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    Re: Sand or grass

    Scott's EZ Seed! Guaranteed to grow anywhere sun or shade or drought resistance

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  26. #18
    Member Birdderfly's Avatar
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    Re: Sand or grass

    In the pens I always like sand and horse manure but I keep a grassy area and let it grow you can always pull grass and put in pens but the sand provides drainage and controls poop build up

  27. #19
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    Re: Sand or grass

    Fresh grass with clover is best For tie cords and pens. Clean sand is best for flypens and breeding pens.

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