Covering chicken run with wood chip

Jenny R

Hatching
Sep 25, 2019
2
0
2
Hello everyone
I’ve just had a large quantity of hard wood chip delivered due to the weather now becoming increasingly more rainy and miserable and the ground therefore becoming more wet and slippery for my chooks. I want to lay it on the ground of my chicken run. My question is - can I lay the wood chip on ground that is soggy at the moment? It’s raining at present but I want to get the wood chip down ASAP. Should I wait for a sunny day so the ground can dry up a bit before I lay the wood chip on top or could I put straw down now to absorb any boggy bits and lay the wood chip directly over the wet ground?? Many thanks
 

archeryrob

Songster
Aug 3, 2018
513
786
187
Western Maryland
Cover it up, it will stay moist under it once it rains anyways even if it drys. Put it down thick they will start digging in it as soon as you leave.

Did you get tree trimmer chips or buy mulch?
 

Mvan42

Crowing
Mar 15, 2019
2,272
4,762
356
Garrett County, Maryland
I did this do to the wet ground in the spring. They helped soak up the moisture, but I made sure they were cleaned out and replaced with dry once the weather go dryer. I didn’t like the idea of the run being soggy.
 

archeryrob

Songster
Aug 3, 2018
513
786
187
Western Maryland
The chickens will turn it over and dry it. It will get wet every time it rains. The moisture will drain through the chips and be dry enough for the chickens. Mine dig holes to lay in, or just because they are bored. I have to use a bedding fork to readjust some area. They have the top thin and the bottom 4" I think now and needing adjusting again. They turn all the poop over in it.

Before this, my daughter read on the internet somewhere to use a sand base and rock over it. I advised her against this, but be a stubborn 21 year old she did her own thing. The chicken poop was like mortar to that rock. We couldn't get it out or clean. She was frustrated with trying to clean or dig it out. I told her 1 1/2 of wood chips and let the chickens do their thing. Two weeks later the chickens had the rock and wood chips all mixed up. We let them out of free range and shoveled it all up and put 2" of free chips on the ground.
 

Jenny R

Hatching
Sep 25, 2019
2
0
2
Thanks for all the advice everyone! Hmm I presume it’s tree chipper chips, it says hardwood chips. I think I spend more time making sure these chickens stay happy and comfortable then my family haha!
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,194
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1,062
WA, Pac NW
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I assume the chips are fresh and not aged? If so, I'd put down the minimum needed to make the run usable, and keep the rest elsewhere to age out a bit, 6 months or more, before using. Low chance of something going wrong (i.e. aspergillus) and obviously a muddy run can also be problematic healthwise for the chickens but I'd rather not risk it.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,222
138,799
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SW Michigan
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Hmm I presume it’s tree chipper chips, it says hardwood chips.
So you bought them in bags?
A pic of the bag would help us know exactly what you have there.
Or a bulk dump truck order from a landscape company?

I assume the chips are fresh and not aged? If so, I'd put down the minimum needed to make the run usable, and keep the rest elsewhere to age out a bit
Yep.... toss down a thin layer at a time, every few days.

Oh, and...Welcome to BYC! @Jenny R
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