Fresh chipped wood in run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by ChickenDal, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. ChickenDal

    ChickenDal Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 3, 2011
    Hi All,
    I just got a few yards of fresh chipped wood.The power company was clearing branches away from the lines.Can I use this chipped wood in my chicken run?I know in order to use it as mulch it has to rot for about 6 months.What about for the chickens? Thanks!!
  2. ECBW

    ECBW Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    I wish I could get some wood chips for my run. A fellow keeper used fresh wood chips and it worked great. Since I do not have access to wood chips, I am using dry leaves.
  3. Clay Mudd

    Clay Mudd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2011
    South MS swamps
    I got a load of power company mulch a few months ago, and I've been throwing a wheelbarrow load into the run now and then. It would probably be too damp to be the only material in there, but I have tons of dry leaves, etc, and it works out pretty nicely.
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    I agree, the moisture content is too high to be used as a sole bedding especially in a coop. But some thrown into a run would probably be fine. Packaged bedding is made of kiln dried wood.
  5. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    I don't know about the fresh chips, but I can tell you about the shavings. Don't use shavings in the run unless it is completely covered and there is no chance at all of them getting wet.

    One of my most memorable moments in 40yrs of chicken keeping is removing 12" of shavings from the run after they were only in it for 2 weeks. Did I mention the caked up, heavy,moldy, stinkin' mess? The smell was unbearable to the point of gagging and heaving with every breath. LOL...I'll never, ever make that mistake again. Sure the first week or two was nice, but a little poop plus a little rain and it was on(they also soured). You will only get them up with a pitchfork or a backhoe(if you can get one into your run). A shovel will just push them down at the point of contact but will not break the surface.

    Good Luck!!!
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2012
  6. TheGardenCoop

    TheGardenCoop Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 28, 2009
    Portland, OR
    I did the same thing with a load of chipped wood from a local tree service, but I only spread the chips in their outer day yard, not in the run part of their coop. It's held up well. I would suggest not laying the chips thick over the entire area. Leave some spots covered more shallowly or not covered at all so your chickens can still scratch in the dirt and take dust baths.
  7. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 20, 2011
    middle TN
    My folks use chipped wood in their run and it's worked great for as long as they've been doing it (more than a full year so they've seen all seasons). Their chickens get to range so they didn't worry about covering up dust bathing -- they laid them down ~4" deep for mud abatement.
  8. claudicles

    claudicles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 26, 2011
    Sydney, Australia
    Aging wood chips prior to using them on the garden is because they supposedly rob the soil of nitrogen as they decompose. i've never been convinced of that but it is what people say.That obviously doesn't apply in the chicken run. If you use them in the run the chicken poop is high in nitrogen so it will actually make them even better for your garden in the long run. Because of the fresh chicken poop you'll have to compost it after clean out but it will be a brilliant garden mulch. As for the moisture problem it depends on what grade of material is in your chip. I use a course chip with no problems. My run has tons of different stuff as litter according to what I have available. I have a moisture problem atm but we have had absurd amount of rain for where I live and the girls will happilly turn over the litter for me in exchange for a bit of scratch mix thrown on the ground.

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