chickens and mulch

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by chickfan, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. chickfan

    chickfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm considering spreading mulch around where the chickens, ducks, and guineas hang out. Some would be inside the yet-to-be-finished chicken run between two coops, but also around a big area that includes a building and a big covered cement slab, in addition to the coops. It would look good and really help with mud problems, but I'm wondering if it would be harmful for chickens? I know they will peck at it, and I'm picturing pieces of wood going into their crops. The mulch is mostly shredded live oak trees and some cedar trees.
    They have free range on 8 acres, but tend to stay in the front four acres, in their "area" close to our house. They can get away from the mulch and have plenty of places to get bugs and scratch and dirth bathe, etc. so that is good, but I just wonder if the mulch could harm them.
    Any ideas and suggestions will be much appreciated. I'm up against a blank wall in my mind here, and since spreading the mulch will involve getting a big piece of machinery out here to move it around, and lots of work for the driver, there will be no going back once it is done.
    Thank you!
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    It won't hurt them, but I doubt it'll look nice for long. They'll scratch it up and fling it around an generally make a mess of it.
     
  3. chickfan

    chickfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Leander, TX
    Thanks for the reply!!! I'm glad to know it won't hurt them. I do know they will scratch it and throw it around, but if I had enough sense to know how to post a picture, I could show you the area and you could see why that really won't matter much. This area that I will cover is dirt and many many leaves, and sticks and rocks. So having a mess out there with mulch won't look any worse than it already does. We are surrounded with trees here. A small area is cleared out for the house, but for the most part it is just trees everywhere. I love it. No grass of course...
    I've done pictures in the past, but lately when I've tried, it didn't work. Maybe I'll work on it again.
    I so appreciate hearing from you. Thanks so much!
     
  4. ldutch123

    ldutch123 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have read it is dangerous to have them around cedar mulch. I read it is toxic. Something about the oils in the cedar. I would post the link but I'm a newbie to this site and I'm not allowed to post links yet.
     
  5. chickfan

    chickfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 12, 2009
    Leander, TX
    Thanks for the reminder. I hadn't even thought about that. I know cedar is not supposed to be used in coops, but I hadn't even though about it being in the mulch. Now I need to do some checking.
    I said there was cedar in the mulch, but I don't know that for a fact. These clearing people were hired by our elec. co. to go all over the county, just to cut down the branches that were growing out over the elec. lines. So in thinking about it, cedar trees don't actually have branches to grow out like that. So maybe there isn't cedar in it after all. I was just thinking about all the cedar trees all over the place here...we had them all cut down off our property, because they pull nutrients out of the ground, but there are so many on all over the county...I guess one could never get them all cut down. I was just thinking while these guys were cutting the tree limbs, they would be cutting cedar also, but hadn't really thought it through.
    DH got to be friends with the guys doing the work, because they were hauling equipment down here every week, bringing it from Dallas, then going home for the week-end. So in a moment of kindness, he offered to let them unhook the equipment and store it here in our back section (completely out of the way), so they wouldn't have to haul it back and forth. And they needed someplace to dump their mulch too. I need to watch so I can catch them next time they are here, and ask them exactly what they are cutting down.
    Thanks for this! I'll be checking it out for sure!
    What would we do without BYC? I haven't had too many problems with my chickens (just luck, I guess) but I have never asked a question that I didn't get an answer for. And it is just too fun to read all the stuff that fellow chicken lovers have to say. Sure cuts down on house cleaning/cooking time! LOL
     
  6. EggyErin

    EggyErin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know cedar shavings are fine for adult chickens but not good for chicks, so I guess you could translate that for mulch as well. As long as there aren't any baby chicks on the mulch, I'd say you don't have anything to worry about.
     
  7. yinepu

    yinepu Overrun With Chickens

    i have mulch from the power company (they brought me about 35 dumptruck loads a few years ago).. a lot of it has composted but there are still some large bits.. we use it inside of our hoop coop and the birds LOVE it.. they have found all kinds of grub worms and bugs. right now we have chickens, turkeys and muscovys on it.. no problems whatsoever.. our free range birds were digging through it from day one of delivery
     
  8. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Put this in my run, and my chickens went nuts! It's all spread out now, so it's useless now [​IMG]
     
  9. chickfan

    chickfan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Leander, TX
    Thank you all so much. I haven't actually gone back and picked up a handfull of this to smell of it, but I will. If there is cedar in there, I guess I can tell by that. Or not. Thinking more and more about it, if there is cedar in it, it won't be much for sure. And since it will be out in the open air, I would think it couldn't hurt them. We have no babies now, and I'm not letting any hens brood. We have a Muscovy on 16 eggs, but I doubt they are even fertile. Iff they hatch, they will go to the feed store before they get old enough to run around outside the coop they are in.
    Once again, thanks to all!
     
  10. jeffrey f

    jeffrey f Out Of The Brooder

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    Does it have to be organic mulch
     

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