Ground up trees for bedding?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mandi224, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. mandi224

    mandi224 In the Brooder

    Sep 13, 2014
    Edinboro, PA
    I'm having some trees cut down on my property -- 2 pine trees and 2 silver maples -- the tree service gave me the option to either have the wood chips left behind to use for mulch or they'll haul it away. I was wondering if it would be worth keeping the wood chips if they could be used for bedding in my coop? (It will be the wood chips from the branches and stumps being ground up)
  2. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays

    I wouldn't use them for bedding. Several reasons, but mainly, they will be large thick chips and also the oils in the pine are not good for poultry.
    Kiln dried pine is fine, like in store bought shavings. In those the heat of kiln drying has either cooked off most of the oils or "fixed" it into them.
    Also, the large chips from a tree service will take about 5 years at the quickest to start to rot and break down, so you can't really use the bedding in composting.

    I work for a tree service and do use our chips to compost, but even with a huge pile and manually turning it with a skidsteer and adding starter, top soils, leaves and green trimmings it takes several years to see much change in the compost. My regular pine bedding from the coops breaks down when mixed properly in under 6 months.

    If you have any low places in the run or yard the tree chips are great to fill in and keep it from getting muddy though or you can use it like mulch around trees and shrubs.
  3. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    When I built my secured outdoor run for my flock, I used 18 inches of wood chips for the base.

    No mud or issues for several years.

    Worked better than expected for the outdoor run, slowly decomposing, and keeping the run mud free.
  4. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Crowing

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    I wouldn't pay to hay it hauled away. There are a ton of places to use it around the coop, yard, garden... I'll use leaves to bed the coop when I'm out of other supplies.

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