Coop and Run on Beauty Bark - Is it a bad thing?


10 Years
Sep 30, 2009
I am researching all I can about raising some chickens in my backyard/frontyard. Pretty much most of my front yard is beauty bark and has several trees and shrubs. Could I put a coop and run right on the beauty bark or will that hurt the chickens? Any help or advice would be appreciated. Thank You:D
It's a decorative wood mulch made from the bark of pine or cedar trees I think.. It's used alot around here in the Pacific NW.
Yes there is lots of beauty bark here in the Pacific NW.
I have lots of it in the yard. Not a problem for the chickens.
Not a problem for them to fling it out into the lawn.

Imp- I think the neighbor is paying them to bark his yard too.
Being a Pacific Northwest gardener, I think I can weigh in on this issue. The beauty bark that is common here is made from Douglas Fir, in almost all cases. It is dyed with a natural vegetable based dye so I would not worry about toxins.
But it can be a bit itchy on your skin- not really slivers but somewhat irritating. If the bark has been down for a long time and has softened as it composts, then I would not worry about using it as a base- the chickens will stir it into the sub-soil and create a wonderful mix! If it is relatively fresh and very deep then I would rake a section off into a pile so that they can scratch around in the soil. Add a section of sand for them to dust bathe in, too, and they should be happy.
My chickens scratch through areas of wood-chip mulch and composted bark and never complain. I would just watch sections that get quite dry in the summer and think about wetting it down if it seems to get too dusty (think about inhalation irritation). If you buy mulch in the future, start to buy a more composted type, which will still work the same but have less potential for irritation.
Ok.... This is an old post so we will see if it gets a reply. I am also in the Pacific NW, we don't have any beauty bark or mulch on our 1\2 acre property but my Chickens will leave our property to go to all 3 surrounding neighbors just to play in the beauty bark \ mulch... They prefer to bury themselves in this to stay cool than any of our dirt. So... I am thinking I need to get a few bags to encourage them to stay on our property? Am I alone on this? Weird Hens.

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