Chicken Run Grass

Credit: Rondeel

Keeping chickens in the back garden has become hugely popular in the UK.  According to statistics 700,000 people now keep hens at home – numbers have risen by around 80 per cent in just a few years.  This is thought to be due to increased awareness about intensive poultry farming after highly publicised campaigns spearheaded by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Jamie Oliver.  Rearing your own hens is fun and you get to eat eggs like a king.

Chickens are highly intelligent and don’t like to be cooped-up – so they need a nice big run to stay happy and healthy.  Healthy hens cost less to keep, and produce more eggs.  10-12 square feet of outside space per bird is considered minimum, but it’s recommended to give them as much space as you can.  Unfortunately, this can be extremely detrimental to your lawn.

The biggest problem is mud.  A few hens can devastate natural grass garden inside a few weeks – it simply isn’t tough enough to withstand the daily activities of poultry.  It is quickly worn down and turns to a mud bath when it rains – so many owners are turning to artificial grass to solve the problem.

Artificial grass is tough enough to withstand free-roaming, scratching and pecking, providing a safe and superior living environment for hens.  With the added advantage it can be cleaned hygienically with a garden hose.   It’s even being used in poultry farming.  Animal-friendly, agriculture innovators Rondeel, use astro-turf in their state of the art system, used in poultry houses in the Netherlands.  Their studies have shown that hens don’t care whether the grass is real or not; they behave very naturally on artificial grass.

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