Bottomless boxes for the chicken run.

Andy in NH

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I saw this idea on a blog (whose link I can't currently find) and decided to give it a try.

Normally my chickens get to free range in the late afternoon / early evening, but I didn't think that was enough.

I wanted to provide them some additional greens in their diet.

Each box is 2' x 2' x 4" and covered with 1/2" hardware cloth on one side.

Both boxes were placed in the chicken run with the hardware cloth facing up.

In the furthest box I sprinkled some barley seed and in the closer box, some black oil sunflower seed.



After the seeds germinate, parts of them stick up through the hardware cloth allowing the chickens to get a snack.

The stand off provided by the bottomless box prevents the chickens from pulling the plants up by the roots.



The narrow blades of the barley works better sticking up through the mesh than the sunflower leaves do.



If anything, the chickens have to work harder at getting to the sunflower leaves.



As time passes the boxes get reseeded, but eventually as the chickens peck and scratch around the area, the boxes get filled with debris and poop.



When this happens I shift the boxes over two feet, sprinkle in some more seed and let the process repeat itself.



At this point the chickens have a great time eating the exposed plants, finding bugs and scratching up the roots.

 
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My 12 year old just built one of these the other day for our new run. Guess great minds think alike. We're new to the whole chicken thing but enjoying it. Made a killer coop last month, even if I do say so myself
 
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