Best Grass to Grow for Chickens: Top Picks for a Happy Flock

When it comes to raising backyard chickens, providing them with the best grass to graze on is essential. Not only does it contribute to their well-being and happiness, but it also provides them with essential nutrients that are vital for their health and egg production. However, choosing the right grass for chickens can be a tricky task, considering factors such as nutritional value, durability, and chicken safety.

In this article, we’ll explore the best grass options for chickens, whether you’re looking for a sustainable lawn, free-range grazing areas, or a chicken-friendly coop. We’ll also provide expert tips on establishing and maintaining healthy grass for your flock, as well as highlight the benefits of providing your chickens with the best grass to grow for chickens. Let’s get started!

Nutritious Grasses for Backyard Chickens

When it comes to providing a healthy diet for your backyard chickens, incorporating a variety of nutritious grasses into their grazing area is essential. Not only do many grasses provide essential vitamins and minerals, but they also offer mental stimulation and exercise for your feathered friends. Here are some of the best grasses to consider:

Grass Type Nutritional Value
Perennial Ryegrass High in protein and fiber, with low fructan levels. Good for year-round grazing.
Brome Grass Rich in potassium and phosphorous, with low levels of indigestible lignin. Ideal for promoting healthy egg production.
Clover High in protein, calcium, and phosphorous. Promotes strong eggshells and overall bone health.
Timothy Grass Rich in fiber and vitamins, with low sugar content. Great for supporting digestive health and preventing obesity.

It’s important to note that while these grasses are beneficial for chickens, it’s still necessary to provide a balanced diet that includes grains and other sources of protein. Additionally, be sure to avoid any toxic grasses, such as hemlock or nightshade.

Top Grass Options for Free-Range Poultry

Free-range chickens need grass that can withstand their constant pecking and scratching. Here are some top grass options that are suitable for free-range poultry:

Grass Variety Growth Rate Hardiness Resistance to Trampling
Buffalo Grass Slow High High
Bermuda Grass Fast High Low
Prairie Grass Medium High High

These grasses are ideal for free-range poultry because of their hardiness and resistance to trampling. Buffalo grass is an excellent choice because of its high hardiness and resistance to trampling, making it an excellent option for heavy foraging. Bermuda grass, on the other hand, grows quickly and provides a steady source of food for the flock. Prairie grass is a good option for those who want to maintain a natural and rustic look while providing a sustainable food source for their chickens.

Top Grass Option for Free-Range Poultry:

  1. Buffalo Grass

Overall, free-range chickens require grass that is durable, able to withstand their constant foraging, and able to provide the necessary nutrients for their diet.

Best Lawn Options for Happy Chickens

When it comes to providing a sustainable and attractive lawn for chickens, it’s important to choose grass varieties that can withstand the constant pecking and scratching of the birds. A lawn that can also serve as a food source for the flock is an ideal choice. Here are some recommended grasses for creating a chicken-friendly lawn:

Grass Variety Benefits
Bahia Grass Resilient and drought-tolerant, making it ideal for hot climates. It is also high in protein, making it a nutritious choice for chickens.
Buffalograss A low-growing grass that is easy to maintain and can withstand heavy grazing. It is also known for its drought tolerance and can thrive in a wide range of soil types.
Kikuyu Grass An aggressive grass that spreads quickly and can withstand heavy traffic. It is high in protein, making it a nutritious choice for chickens, and also has a high tolerance for drought.

It’s important to note that chickens will naturally prefer to forage on a variety of grasses, so it’s best to incorporate several different types of grass into their lawn. Additionally, maintaining a sustainable lawn for chickens requires regular mowing to prevent overgrowth and weed control to prevent unwanted plants from taking over.

Ideal Grass Types for Chicken Foraging

When it comes to choosing the right grass for your chickens to forage on, it’s important to consider their specific needs and preferences. Here are some of the best grass types to consider:

  • Bermuda grass: This grass variety is hardy and durable, making it a great choice for free-range poultry. It’s also high in protein and other essential nutrients.
  • Rye grass: Rye grass is a cool-season grass that’s perfect for fall and winter grazing. It’s also highly nutritious, containing large amounts of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Clover: Clover is a legume that’s low-growing and provides tender shoots that chickens love. It’s also high in protein, making it a great supplement to their diet.

In addition to these grass types, there are a few other factors to consider when choosing grass for your chickens. First and foremost, you’ll want to choose grass that’s safe for chickens to eat and won’t cause any digestive issues. You’ll also want to choose grass that’s easy for chickens to access and won’t be too difficult for them to scratch and peck at.

When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to consult with a poultry expert or a veterinarian to ensure that the grass you’re providing for your chickens is safe, healthy, and enjoyable for them to eat.

I. Best Grass to Grow for Chickens: Top Picks for a Happy Flock

VI. Establishing a Chicken-Friendly Grass Area

Before planting grass for your chickens, it’s crucial to prepare the soil adequately. Remove any debris and rocks, and till the soil to a depth of at least six inches. Add organic matter, such as compost or manure, to enrich the soil and improve drainage.

Choosing the right grass seed is essential to ensure a chicken-friendly environment. Opt for varieties that are high in protein and nutrients, such as clover or ryegrass. Avoid grasses that are difficult for chickens to digest, like Bermuda grass or fescue.

After planting the grass seed, ensure it receives sufficient water and nutrients to grow healthy and strong. Avoid over-fertilizing the grass, as excessive nitrogen can lead to leggy growth and susceptibility to pests and diseases.

To prevent overgrazing, rotate your chickens regularly to different grassy areas. This helps to maintain grass quality and encourages chickens to eat a diverse range of grasses, promoting a balanced diet.

Maintaining Healthy Grass for Chickens

After planting the right grass for your chickens, it is crucial to maintain its health and quality. Chickens are known to scratch and peck at grass, which can cause damage and promote weed growth if left unchecked. Here are some expert tips for maintaining your chicken’s grass area:

  • Regular Mowing: Mow the grass regularly to keep it at a height that is suitable for your chickens. Long grass can harbor parasites and hide potential dangers, such as sharp objects or predators.
  • Weed Control: Weed the grass regularly, preferably by hand. Chickens enjoy eating weeds, but some, like poison ivy, can be harmful. Only use chemical treatments if necessary and safe for your flock.
  • Pest Management: Check the grass area regularly for parasites, such as mites and fleas. Chickens can also suffer from internal parasites, so provide them with regular deworming treatments.

In addition to these practices, it is essential to monitor the health and quality of your grass area. If you notice thinning or yellowing grass, you may need to adjust your watering or fertilization practices. If your chickens are showing signs of poor health or unusual behavior, such as lethargy or droopiness, they may not be getting enough nutrition from their grass diet.

By following these tips, you can maintain a healthy and enjoyable grass area for your chickens, ensuring they have access to the nutrition and stimulation they need.

The Benefits of Grass for Chicken Health and Well-being

Growing the right grass for your chickens is more than just a matter of providing food; it can have a significant impact on their overall health and happiness. Here are some benefits of grass for chicken health and well-being:

  • Improved digestion: Chickens need roughage to aid in digestion, and grass is an ideal source of dietary fiber to keep their digestive system functioning properly.
  • Enhanced egg quality: Chickens that have access to a diverse range of grasses and plants tend to lay eggs with richer, more vibrant yolks, which are an indication of higher nutritional value.
  • Increased mental stimulation: Chickens are curious creatures that need mental stimulation to prevent boredom and stress. Grass provides opportunities for chickens to engage in natural foraging behaviors, which can help to keep them mentally stimulated and physically active.

“Grass provides opportunities for chickens to engage in natural foraging behaviors, which can help to keep them mentally stimulated and physically active.”

Additionally, chickens that have access to grass and other plants tend to be healthier overall, exhibiting fewer health problems and requiring fewer interventions from their caretakers. By growing the right grass for your chickens, you can provide them with a simple and natural way to stay healthy and happy.

Expert Tips for Growing Grass for Chickens

Providing the right grass for chickens can be a challenging task, but with the right approach, it can be a rewarding experience. Here are some expert tips for successfully growing and maintaining grass for chickens:

  • Prepare the soil: Before planting grass, it’s essential to prepare the soil to ensure optimal conditions for growth. Remove any unwanted debris and weeds, and add a layer of compost or manure to enrich the soil.
  • Choose the right grass variety: Different grass varieties have varying degrees of hardness, durability, and nutritional value. Consult with a local agricultural extension office or talk to grass seed suppliers to determine which varieties are best for your area and for your chicken’s nutritional needs.
  • Provide adequate water: Grass needs regular watering to thrive. Water your grass regularly, especially during dry spells or prolonged hot weather. Too much water, however, can lead to fungal growth and disease, so be careful not to overwater.
  • Fertilize properly: Fertilizing your grass can help it grow faster and healthier. Use natural fertilizers or compost to ensure that the grass provides optimal nutrition for your chickens.
  • Avoid overgrazing: Overgrazing can lead to the destruction of grass and soil erosion. Rotate your chickens to different areas of your lawn or pasture to prevent overgrazing. This gives the grass time to regenerate and grow back after being eaten.
  • Consider alternatives: If growing and maintaining grass is not feasible, consider planting alternative crops or herbs that chickens enjoy, such as kale, clover, or dandelions. These can provide diverse nutrition for your flock and reduce the need for grass.

By following these tips and providing a well-maintained area of grass for your chickens, you can ensure that your flock enjoys a healthy and happy life.


Choosing the right grass for your chickens can make a significant difference in their overall health and happiness. By providing your flock with a diverse range of nutritious grasses, you can ensure they are getting the essential vitamins, minerals, and protein they need to thrive.

Remember to consider factors such as growth rate and hardiness when selecting grass for free-range poultry, and choose sustainable options that can accommodate heavy grazing. Maintaining healthy grass for your chickens requires regular monitoring and maintenance, including mowing, weed control, and pest management.

Whether you are establishing a new grass area or improving an existing one, expert tips and guidance can help you achieve optimal results. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different grass varieties to find the ones that work best for your flock.

Providing a well-maintained grass area for your chickens can have numerous benefits, from improved digestion and egg quality to increased mental stimulation. By investing in the best grass to grow for chickens, you are investing in the long-term health and well-being of your flock.


Q: What are the best grass types for chickens?

A: The best grass types for chickens are those that are nutritious, chicken-friendly, and suitable for foraging. Some preferred options include clover, ryegrass, Bermuda grass, and fescue.

Q: What grasses are nutritious for backyard chickens?

A: Nutritious grasses for backyard chickens include varieties rich in protein, vitamins, and minerals. Examples include Timothy grass, alfalfa, orchard grass, and Kentucky bluegrass.

Q: What are the top grass options for free-range poultry?

A: The top grass options for free-range poultry are those that can withstand trampling, pecking, and scratching. Sturdy grass varieties like Bahia grass, buffalo grass, and seashore paspalum are great choices.

Q: Which grass varieties make the best lawn for chickens?

A: The best lawn options for happy chickens are grass varieties that can tolerate heavy grazing and provide a sustainable food source. Consider planting fescue, perennial ryegrass, or Kentucky bluegrass for a chicken-friendly lawn.

Q: What are the ideal grass types for chicken foraging?

A: Ideal grass types for chicken foraging are those with low-growing foliage and tender shoots. Consider planting zoysia grass, quackgrass, or creeping red fescue near chicken coops for easy access.

Q: How can I establish a chicken-friendly grass area?

A: To establish a chicken-friendly grass area, prepare the soil properly, select suitable grass seed, and ensure appropriate watering and fertilization. Rotate the flock regularly to prevent overgrazing and promote grass regeneration.

Q: How do I maintain healthy grass for chickens?

A: Maintaining healthy grass for chickens involves regular mowing, weed control, and managing pest infestations. Monitor grass quality and make necessary adjustments to ensure optimal foraging conditions for the chickens.

Q: What are the benefits of grass for chicken health and well-being?

A: Grass provides numerous benefits for chicken health and well-being, including improved digestion, enhanced egg quality, and increased mental stimulation. Studies suggest that access to grass can also reduce stress and improve overall chicken welfare.

Q: What expert tips can you provide for growing grass for chickens?

A: Expert tips for growing grass for chickens include strategies for preventing soil erosion, promoting grass regeneration, and minimizing parasite infestations. Consider incorporating natural supplements or grass alternatives into the chicken’s diet for added nutrition.

Q: What is the best grass to grow for chickens?

A: The best grass to grow for chickens may vary depending on factors such as climate, soil conditions, and chicken preferences. It is recommended to experiment with different grass varieties to find the ones that work best for your specific flock.