There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable
and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You
can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green
Guru's secret identity.
How well does your recommended native turf grass mix hold up against chickens or do double duty as feed?
I have a mixed use property that will house Rabbits, Poultry (chickens/duck/geese), and eventually sheep (very long time horizon for the sheep). It has a large area of direct sun, but is mostly wooded and will become a multi-product small orchard (3.5 acres). I'm just getting started and would like to begin improving the soil naturally.
"What chickens eat and what chickens should eat are not always the same thing. Chickens are omnivores. That means they’ll snarf down just about anything, or at least try to! I’ve seen a hen catch and slurp down a snake like spaghetti. I’ve seen a chicken snatch a toad by it’s leg and all of the other hens go in a raucous chase after it, only, at the end to discover that a toad is not good eating. Chickens also eat less exciting foods, like vegetables, fruits, flowers and grass. They eat grains and seeds. They scratch the ground and find bugs and specks of things that we can’t see.So, the question isn’t really what chickens eat, but what the right diet is for them."
Pet rabbits should be fed on rabbit food in the form of mixtures of flaked cereals and pellets are a convenient way of feeding pet rabbits. Wild rabbits spend a lot of time nibbling and chewing at hard fibrous food and their common meals is grass."
"Mostly sheep eat grass, clover, forbs, and other pasture plants. They especially love forbs. It is usually their first choice of food in a pasture. A forb is a broad-leaf plant other than grass. It is a flowering plant. Forbs are often very nutritious. As compared to cattle, sheep eat a greater variety of plants and select a more nutritious diet, but less so than goats."
Okay, we have belabored the point and we know that sheep are a long term plan, but what will the Habiturf seed be long term? Grasses.
So, there is your first problem, right there in the title. Montgomery County is deep in Southeast Texas, with totally different climate, rainfall and soils from North, Central and West Texas. Now, go down to the paragraph on sowing the seed:
"Sow the seed — the small, hand-cranked seed broadcasters are great or by hand — and rake and press with a garden roller or your feet. Seeds need good soil contact. Spring is the best sowing time once soil temperatures warm up (day time temperatures constantly above 85F). Later in the growing season also works well but will require more water.Sow the seed — the small, hand-cranked seed broadcasters are great or by hand — and rake and press with a garden roller or your feet. Seeds need good soil contact. Spring is the best sowing time once soil temperatures warm up (day time temperatures constantly above 85F). Later in the growing season also works well but will require more water."
The seeds will be sitting right up there on top of the ground; easy pickiings and scratching for chickens. Whatever does manage to come up will be dessert for the rabbits.
You will also note that this grass will grow in up to 50% of sunlight a day. The wooded areas, including around the trees you are planning, will probably be too shady for this grass. Habiturf is an attempt to create lawn grass for hot, arid areas. What you need is probably a pasture grass, or to separate the spaces for animals and lawn by a very good fence.
More Grasses or Grass-like Questions
Clearing up the nativity of so-called Baltimore sedge (Carex senta) November 12, 2009 - Dear Smarty Pants: Hi, did you ever get more clarity on the Carex senta issue (baltimore sedge)? Whether or not it was a wetland grass? I too am in Maryland and was thinking of planting it for a law... view the full question and answer
Difference between Pseudoroegneria spicata and Elymus trachycaulus May 21, 2007 - What is the difference between Pseudoroegneria spicata and Elymus trachycaulus. view the full question and answer
Erosion Control with perennials for a shady Dallas bank July 25, 2013 - Thank you for your help with turf or perennials on a shaded bank, 4000 sq ft, for the Dallas area that has good roots, grows in semi shade to shade, is on a steep bank so cannot mow, and flowers the l... view the full question and answer
Need something to compete with Virginia wild rye in Bristol, TN. July 29, 2011 - I have been working for 4 years to convert a large area of sunny lawn (150' x 40') to a native woodland planting, using native trees, shrubs, flowers and grasses. Although I used seeds of a variety ... view the full question and answer
Native grasses for golf courses from Austin October 06, 2013 - I may be working on two different golf courses and wanted to know if any native or hybrid native grasses would work for the fairways and rough areas?
The rough areas are no problem as a number of ... view the full question and answer