Hey, do you want to know all about chicken grazing box? If yes, keep reading. In this guide you will know how to build a chicken grazing box at home with its benefits. Also, you will understand how to use it properly in your backyard.
What is a Chicken Grazing Box?
- 1 What is a Chicken Grazing Box?
- 2 Benefits of Placing A Grazing Box For Your Chickens
- 3 How to build a chicken grazing box at home? DIY Ideas
- 3.1 1. Things You Need For Making A Grazing Box For Your Chickens
- 3.2 2. Step by Step DIY Guide For Making Chicken Grazing Boxes
- 3.3 3. How to Select Best Seeds For Your Chicken Grazing Box?
- 3.4 4. Right Way For Sprouting Seeds in The Grazing Box
- 3.5 5. Best Place in Backyard to Keep The Chicken Grazing Boxes
- 4 Summary
As the word sounds, these are boxes where the chickens graze on. The boxes are usually protected by hardware cloth or chicken wire that keep the chickens from destroying the graze roots.
The seed grains and the greens-sprout are planted inside the boxes, and they grow beyond the hardware cloth, which allows the chickens to peck it as a fresh buffet. It is essential to understand the elements used in making grazing boxes.
Benefits of Placing A Grazing Box For Your Chickens
Here are some amazing benefits of placing a chicken grazing box in your backyard:
For Flock Safety
Grazing box is an essential aspect in protecting the chickens from many things which affect their growth and safety.
When protecting the chicken from other animals that can attack them, it is a way of moving when dealing with many chickens at your place.
Decrease Mortality Rate
When you have the grazing box, it becomes easy for you to reduce high mortality rates to the hens, it helps in hiding the eggs laid by the hens.
Because the chickens forage near the coop they will easily go back to their nesting box and lay in a cozy environment.
If you do not place a grazing box most of the hens go far for foraging and they lay their eggs in bushes and wrong places. The predators eat the eggs which will increase early mortality.
Keeps Your Garden Safe
The grazing box is the best option to protect your hens from going to your garden and destroying crops since you have many options on what you built and how you allow your hens to access different grazing boxes.
Also because of the chicken grazing box chickens will give their time on pecking on the grass. They will not harm your precious garden greens.
When you have a grazing box, it becomes easy to construct a hen-pecked garden. In some situations, your hens can venture into your garden and eat all bugs and caterpillars on your crops.
This will keep them busy and control your crops without being destroyed by the hens once they discover the crops. You can also check out our guide on mealworms for chickens.
Keeps Flocks Near The Coop
Concentrating more around the grazing box makes it easy for the chickens to spend their time eating the grass from the box and not moving outside the compound where other animals can attack them.
Understanding how to keep your hens busy through the construction of the grazing box can reduce the number of deaths among your chickens. It will also help make your chickens famous for their grazing region.
No More Hidden Eggs
When the hens have gotten their food from the grazing box, it becomes easy to go into a commonplace to lay their eggs. This becomes important for the owner of the eggs to understand different places where the eggs for the hens are laid.
Hens like hiding their eggs once they are given an opportunity, and this will happen if they lack a grazing area where they will be eating from and immediately go to lay their eggs.
So, the grazing box still assists in reducing a lot of movement for the hens, and once they finish eating their grass, they will go to a place where the owner can find the eggs quickly.
Safe From Predators
If you have dogs and your hens like hiding their eggs, it will be hard for you to control this, but once you have a grazing box from where your hens will be eating from, it will be easy for you to understand the movement of the hens after eating and their place of laying their eggs easily.
Near the grazing box, you can contract several nests where the hens will go after eating their grass to lay their eggs, thus easy to collect from one common point.
The grazing box will also challenge you to construct a fence that will control hens’ movement into the garden since when you have the grazing box, it will be easy to monitor and see where the hens like moving to and fence the route thus easily managed.
Not Able To Destroy Grass Roots
Grazing boxes help control the destruction of grass and land by the hens. When you have the box, it becomes easy to allow the grass around the area to grow above the hardware cloth; that is where the hens will start accessing the grass.
This method ensures that the hens don’t consume the grass to the point of eradicating it. When the hens/chickens lack food, they like destroying their land.
Construction of the grazing box will make the hens concentrated in one part and reduce movement around the compound for an extended period. This will give grass around the compound free time to grow peaceful without being destroyed at its early stages.
If you don’t have a grazing box for your hens, expect your grass to be burned from ammonia with a high concentration of chicken poop. The crops around will be scratched bare and leave the region dry and not green, thus destroying the land.
This is the point where rotational grazing comes in through the construction of the grazing box. When you construct them, there is the opportunity to move the box from one place to another regularly, allowing the grass to regenerate itself well.
Easily Manage Your Flocks
Easy management of the chicken and the environment. A grazing box is also considered the best way of managing your hens/chickens.
When your hens are grazing the grass in the box, you can quickly know them by their number and growth rate. Those farmers who have many chickens in one place find it hard to know the growth of their chickens and ways to manage their growth rate.
Through the presence of the grazing box, you can easily see the growth of the chicken and their numbers.
Apart from management and their number of grazing boxes that help keep the chicken in one place at a time, controlling them from moving into different places is reduced. This is considered the best way of maintaining the chickens and the environment around the region.
How to build a chicken grazing box at home? DIY Ideas
1. Things You Need For Making A Grazing Box For Your Chickens
It is advisable to make one with a 3’ x 5’ grazing box for your chickens . If you don’t consider using the pressure-treated wood, the application of southern yellow pine will work better with dimensions of 2 – 2′ x 6′ x 10′.
The next thing is ½ inch mesh hardware cloth, which helps protect the chicken from destroying seed grains and green sprouts before maturing.
The use of galvanized poultry staples is also used, screws of 2-0.5 inches, a hammer, screw gun, measuring tape, pencil, speed square which is used to measure straight lines before cutting, the circular saw used in cutting the lumber, metal snips for cutting the hardware cloth, composite to fill box and grains seeds. The next thing involves putting all these materials together for the grazing box.
2. Step by Step DIY Guide For Making Chicken Grazing Boxes
The grazing box depends on the number of hens and roosters you have. After understanding the materials required in the construction of the grazing box for the hens, the next this is joining the materials in the following manner:
- Cut the wood (if you prefer it) into four equal pieces with a length of 2X6 inches width wood 8 feet long and apply the screw to bring them together. It is advisable to use heat-treated wood that does not contain any exposure to chemicals to maintain good health for your chicken when snacking the grasses.
- Depending on the location of the lumber yard, you can get the wood from different trusted sources for this work. After joining the four pieces of wood together, they will form a box.
- Use the 4 inch wood screw to make sure that the pieces are secure and together; this helps control the danger of getting apart when moved from one place to another. Some will prefer using a thin wood for this work; it is also good but not as strong as that of 2X6 type of wood.
- The next is the addition of the hardware cloth or chicken wire. Hardware cloth involves top covering, which helps reduce the destruction of the grass before it matures to be consumed by the boys and girls.
- It would help if you decided whether to use staples or wood nails in attaching the hardware cloth to the box. The use of finishing is essential since it is readily available and easy to bend once applied, but if you have staples, you can also apply them.
- The use of this helps to make the hardware cloth to be more secure in protecting the growing seeds and greens.
- The finishing nails and staples help in giving good sustainability to chickens. Ensure there is a slight overhang of the hardware cloth and tamp down the edges of the hardware cloth using the hammer to control the cutting of the chicken in case it’s stamped on the edge.
Note: Add some support if needed. It is essential to have supports mainly at the center of the grazing box. Some hens are heavy, so they will move at the center and push down to pick grasses that are not consumed. To avoid this, use some supports on the center of the box to avoid the box from sagging. You can use a workbench and staple gun to provide enough staples to keep the block in place.
3. How to Select Best Seeds For Your Chicken Grazing Box?
Choosing the right seeds for your chicken grazing box requires some experience. The best grasses in the chicken grazing box are the hardy ones.
Oat grass is the most preferred since many chickens love it, and it quickly germinates at a low temperature, but it is good to plant seeds native to your location; this plant will quickly adapt to the climate and the soil. Grass contains many nutrients for chickens.
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Last update on 2022-05-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
4. Right Way For Sprouting Seeds in The Grazing Box
Sprouted grains can have more nutrients than hard grains. It becomes easy for the sprout grains to grow in the grazing box for your hens.
You can decide to allow the greens to grow beyond the hardware cloth to become a plant buffet or scatter the seed during the period of rain. If the seed is kept consistently in moist condition, it will take a week to grow and sprout.
At this point, you have an option of moving the grazing box into a different location to enable the spread of more seeds and allow the chicken to enjoy the nutrients left behind.
5. Best Place in Backyard to Keep The Chicken Grazing Boxes
When selecting a place where you will place your grazing box for your chicken, you need to place it in a good area which is free from floods.
The place has to give the chickens the freedom to scratch and peck down to be dirt. In the case where it rains mostly, the grazing box can help the chickens to elevate up.
Find where you will place it on the coop. It is essential to find a place where you will place your grazing box before you start building it; this will give you a clear view of the grazing box you can build or enlarge in the coming days.
Measuring the size you need to use in making your grazing garden is essential since it provides many options of shifting the box from one place to another, but if you don’t have enough space, it will be hard for you to shift to different places once built.
Choosing a region with suitable drains and a place that doesn’t flood is essential since the grass will remain healthy as it grows in the grazing box. Understand the area where you need to put the box since not all places can support the greens’ growth.
Add the high-quality topsoil or manure to the area and start planting the seeds. Top up with the box and make sure that the hardware cloth faces up.
It takes a few weeks before the greens are suitable for your hens to eat, it is essential to look for something to cover it on top to allow the seeds to grow enough for the hens since if your hens discover them before the right time, they will affect their growth.
Developing a grazing box for your chickens is a critical process. Understanding the materials needed in making this box will help you make the proper budget for what is required. There are many benefits of placing a grazing box on your chickens.
Like it protects the chickens from being attacked by other animals since they will be staying around the grazing box, there will be reduced land and green destruction around the area, and there is easy management of the chickens.
Before you start making the grazing box ensure that you know how it is constructed. The correct procedure is necessary for this case.
The best grass types for chicken grazing boxes depend on the native grasses of the area, but the most loved one is the oat. Sprouted grains give access to many nutrients for the chickens.
The best location for placing the grazing box depends on the drains around the region and floods, but you can place the chicken grazing box anywhere where grains can work best.