Bark / wood chip for chicken run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Duchypoo, Aug 26, 2012.

  1. Duchypoo

    Duchypoo Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 23, 2012
    Hi, can anyone help me out?

    I'm not sure what kind of wood chip / bark is ok to use in my chicken run,
    I heard some types of wood are poisonous?
    There are ducks in this run too.

    Thanks all x
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Cedar is the one it's often recommended not to use. It's not a matter of poison but of "fumes" which can be irritating to their respiratory tract. However -- actually any "smelly" wood can be irritating, including pine, and many, many people on BYC use pine shavings in their coops routinely. The trick is that the coop (or brooder or whatever) needs to be well ventilated. Actually, some people use at least some cedar, knowing the problem. I use hay and pine shavings, and when I had a couple of bags of cedar shavings given to me, I used them as well -- in small amounts and with ventilation to the point of a breeze actively blowing through the coop.
  3. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wouldn't use woodchips. I haven't used hay either.
    I've used fallen autumn (oak/maple/any) leaves, pine needles / pine straw, dried bamboo leaves, and pinecones. I stir it up weekly with the dirt in the run and add DE/Stall Dry occasionally. Stirring it up with my hoe keeps it dry (and it's a covered run).
  4. Salmonslayer76

    Salmonslayer76 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 21, 2012
    We chose to use sandbox sand for our run. We have galvanized wire mesh and landscape cloth and then piled sandbox sand on it, spread it out evenly. So far it has been working out great, easy to cleanup with a rake. Inside the coop we are using shavings, not sure what type of wood it is, but it's not too dusty and I just change it out every few days. (it's not a huge coop, only takes a few minutes)
  5. Sunny Dawn

    Sunny Dawn Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 2, 2012
    For the coop I use pine shavings as is well ventilated. For the outside run I have shredded pine gan ark that is untreated.....I currently am sectioning off part of the run to plant some grass for them to munch and the. Will rotate around so I always have a section that I am growing grass. However my run is huge....16 x 32 feet. For some other posts I got the idea to build me a chicken garden as well! Looking forward to that. And I also buried a feed trough halfway for them to get in a dust bathe.

    Good Luck!
  6. Duchypoo

    Duchypoo Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 23, 2012
    Thanks all,

    I tried wood chip (not sure what kind of wood) from my local garden centre but found it had too much compost-like earth with it so was too wet. My chickens and ducks didn't dig around in it either.
    They are now on straw in their run as well as in their bedtime house, its great!!
    They love digging around in it and scratching it up and they make a hollow to snuggle down in when they sleep in the day.
    Now I've got straw there's no turning back!
  7. blackwpk

    blackwpk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 21, 2014
    Hello! I am new at this venture but am using straw in the coop as well. While I am coop training I will get the straw outside as well. I have a Peck-n-Play from Murray McMurray Hatchery that I will receive today. I can put them in it when it's too warm in the coop, having straw as the ground so they can dig around in it. I think I like straw much better than anything else.
    Welcome to BYC!
  8. Arodriguez1

    Arodriguez1 New Egg

    Aug 22, 2015
  9. jrob53

    jrob53 Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 23, 2015
    I am planning to use wood chips in coop and run. How deep should I put it in the run? I'm figuring 5"
    in the coop but not sure of the run.


  10. 88sub4x4

    88sub4x4 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2015
    Long Island, NY
    I use wood chips in my run. About 4-6" deep. My chickens love it. I get it free from tree companies. Just call up a local one and ask for some. If you want and truckload they'll usually just drop it off. If you only need a little just meet up with them at a job site and fill up a few garbage pails. They are always happy to get rid of it.

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