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Artificial grass with chickens?

We currently have two bantam hens (having lost one recently), and plan to get 1-2 more next year. We've lived in our current property for 6 years, and have had our hens for five years. We live in an area with heavy clay soil, and over the last 5 years our lawn has been reduced to pure dirt in the summer, and mud in the winter. Not a blade of grass left. 

We have tried chicken friendly hardy grass seed (with grazing frames) and returfing our lawn to no avail - every time it gets destroyed and turns into a waterlogged mess. We have a fairly small garden, and the lawn is about 1/3 of it. We have a large-ish patio, raised flower bed with plenty of space for dust bathing, a shaded rockery, and a few trees. Our birds free range all day most days, and love exploring all the different bits of the garden. They have an Eglu Go coop, with a 3x1m run and 2x2m run extension attached - all on woodchip. 

We have a young child, and want to try and find the right balance in the garden for him and our beloved birds. The current hard packed dirt isn't great for anyone. We have been gifted some high quality artificial grass and have a handyman coming to install it in a couple of weeks, but we are suddenly wondering if this is best, or if we try and give natural grass one last shot? Our handyman spoke to his turf supplier today (who also has chickens) and says none of his turf will survive chickens on it. 

Any thoughts as to the best plan of action much appreciated

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I really wouldn’t use artificial grass. It’s just for your aesthetics and doesn’t do anything for the chickens benefit. It will probably be a nightmare to keep clean as the poo will get in between. And a bored chicken will pluck it.

 I do understand that you would love a more natural look, but your best bet is to pave the whole lot and put them either on woodchips (in partly or uncovered run) or aubiose in a covered run.

Mine are on earth and I really like it. It takes care of itself mainly. You can always try and surround the run with some vegetation. I have a large mint plant growing on the side. And a neighbour has clematis growing over his run.

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I admit Astro turf looks good but I work in a school that has it for the same reasons you describe, and I hate it.

From experience it is quite nasty if you fall over - friction burns - and, I don't know if it is just me, but I get an awful lot of static shocks after I have been on it. 

I don't know how "charged up" a chicken would get if it kept scratching around.

I would maybe grass an area for your little one that the chickens can't get to or confine your girls to a bigger run so you and your little one can enjoy the rest of the space.

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Had it for 7 or more years, fantastic, easy to clean, either hose or brush and never had problems with poo getting deep down. No more mud in the house and no more muddy boots plus children can access it everyday.The water drains through whereas with a patio the rain water runs away and does not enter the soil. Chickens enjoy sunbathing on it and no pecking. If you are going to have it, do it properly and lay a firm base ( not soil) that is then compacted down before the turf gets laid, otherwise it will look terrible and form depressions

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