Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →

How to Stop Chickens From Eating Grass Seed

chicken image by Henryk Olszewski from

Free-range chickens eat bugs and sometimes grass. If you reseed your lawn, you’ll find out that they also eat grass seed. You can try several methods to stop your chickens from eating the seed before it has a chance to grow. Alternatives range from raking to mulching to fencing off areas. If one way does not work well in your situation, try another.

Cover the grass seed with a layer of soil. Do this by raking the spread seeds with a garden rake about a quarter-inch into the soil. Or spread a quarter-inch layer of topsoil on top of the spread seeds.

Spread a 1-inch layer of mulch over the seeds. Straw is easy to spread, but if the area is exposed to high winds, the straw may blow away. If necessary, lay chicken wire over top of the straw to help hold it down. Or use geotextile mulch, which will biodegrade over time.

Create a barrier between the grass seed and the chickens. Install chicken wire to fence off where the seeds are located. If you are seeding the entire area where the chickens roam, then divide the area into two sections. Seed and fence off one area first and when that grass is established, seed and fence off the other area.

Deter the chickens from eating the grass seeds. Keep chicken feed available at all times and provide them with other foods they enjoy, such as fresh lettuce, grapes, melons and bread.

Grass To Seed Out

Stop mowing the grass in the area that you want to let seed out. In dry conditions, water the grass as needed to ensure that it continues to grow and thrive. Wait for the seed heads to develop completely and begin drying out. Harvest the seeds by grasping the stalk with one hand and sliding the fingers of the other hand up the stalk and over the seed heads; provided that the heads are fully developed, the seeds will come loose between your fingers. Mow the lawn after harvesting the seeds, setting the blade high so that you remove no more than one-third of the grass height in the first cut. Store harvested grass seed in a cool, dry location.

Garden Guides