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Can wood chips/bark cause splinter in chickens feet

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by LOLchick, Aug 26, 2013.

  1. LOLchick

    LOLchick Chirping

    Apr 1, 2013
    Sorry for all the questions. I have wood chips/bark in my garden. When I let the chickens out in the late afternoon, they go straight for the bark and scratch in that area. Is that bad for their feet, causing bumblefeet or splinters? It's pretty large pieces. It is douglas fir and is untreated so I know it's save in that sense.
    Thanks for all the help!

  2. dudleydog7

    dudleydog7 Hatching

    Aug 23, 2013
    I've only had chickens for a year, and they were raised on pine chips. We now put straw in their coops, but sometimes we run out and have to use the chips. I've never had a problem, though. I'm not sure about other kinds of chips.
  3. Running1

    Running1 Hatching

    Aug 22, 2013
    What other materials can you put in their coops that would be somewhat economical? Also easy to clean up, because I am assuming that you have to replace the material every so often .
  4. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

    Jan 23, 2013
    Pocono Mtns
    My Coop
    We use wood chips. They are cheap, absorbent and the chickens haven't complained of splinters.
  5. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Yes, it can.

    I was using wood chips in my run, and one of our bantams (a Belgian d'Uccle) got an infection on the bottom of her foot. Several of the other chickens had red spots on the bottoms of their feet, too. These were our Belgian crosses.

    I replaced the chips with sand, and our flock hasn't had any foot problems since.

    Your flock may have tougher foot pads and may not be bothered by the chips. It's a good idea anyway to check feet periodically, so try that and see if the chips cause any problems.
  6. MayoShawna

    MayoShawna In the Brooder

    Oct 20, 2013
    Lizana Mississippi
    I use Timothy Hay for my girls. I pay 6.90 per rectangular bail. when I rake it out of the coop, it goes straight into the flower beds or around my fruit/ornamental trees so it does double duty. litter/nesting for my girls, and fertilizer for my plants. Plus I just really love the smell of the Timothy Hay.

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