I currently have 25 laying hens and am raising another 25 chicks. My hen house floor (10 x 20) is concrete with drains and covered with pine shavings. My outdoor pen is roughly 55 x 48 and, as expected, is completely denuded of vegetation. I hate the mud now and dirt in the summer. Is there any reason not to put down wood chips in the outside pen? Last summer I put lots of grass clippings and weeds in for the girls and they loved it. Then in the fall, piles of leaves went in and they're still scratching around in what is left. I was thinking that wood chips as a ground cover would also provide them with hunting opportunities for bugs and worms. Although we have a farm, free range is not an option because of predators but I can give them plenty of secure fenced area.