Bark in coop vs. shavings?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by birdy_num_nums, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. birdy_num_nums

    birdy_num_nums In the Brooder

    May 28, 2008
    I have shavings in the coop presently, and am planning on the deep litter method.

    I did some landscaping last week which included purchasing some "walk-on bark" small wood chips and spreading that around a flower garden.

    Then I got to thinking- these shavings and the bark are verrrrry similar.... would there be a problem with putting walk-on bark or playground bark (slightly smaller bark pieces) in the coop as bedding?

    I can literally buy a truckload of the bark for the same price as one package of shavings. This would allow me to be liberal with applying the bedding; also with removing it if the need arises, I would be so much more inclined to clean out some or all at the slightest stinkiness.

    Thoughts? Ideas? Anyone else go this route?
  2. scooter147

    scooter147 Songster

    Jul 30, 2008
    My only concern would be the "sharp" edges of the bark. This may cause irratation, small cuts on the bottoms of the chickens feet and then lead to bumble foot. Bumble foot is something you don't want your chickens to experience.

    Without being able to feel the bark I don't know if it would be the same as using pine shavings. I would be very careful using it. You mentioned it is "walk on" bark. Does this mean you can walk on it bare foot?

    Others maybe more helpful. I have only used shavings or straw in my coops.
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I'm not familiar with it. What I'm wondering, though, is how absorbent it is? Larger bark doesn't seem all that absorbent. If it's not as absorbent, then I think you will run into more problems with smell and ammonia being released into the air. If it's as absorbent as shredded pine and the texture doesn't abrade their feet and cause bumblefoot, then it would probably work fine. You could also try blending it with shavings, if it's not absorbent enough on it's own.

    How much are you paying for shavings?

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