My chooks are having a blast in the leaves; even as much as kiddos do. The leaves I put inside the fenced covered coop area last weekend are slowly breaking down. Mixing the shavings, hemp bedding, and leaves is going to make for a great mulch. It's soft on their feet because this part of the coop area is on a cement slab. I converted a covered 6 x 10 chain link dog run. Oh, and I noticed to poo doesn't stick to my shoes. BONUS!Ahh that sucks - do you have a good relationship with any neighbors with similar trees (and no bramble)?