Is bark in the run okay?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by gardenak, Apr 3, 2009.

  1. gardenak

    gardenak Chillin' With My Peeps

    276
    1
    131
    Apr 3, 2009
    Douglas, AK
    My garden is a on a very steep slope. The only place I have to put a coop & run is right behind the house, in an area we have filled with the small, ground bark chips to keep the mud from being tracked into the house. Is bark okay for chickens to be on? That area doesn't get a lot of sun so grass is out. [​IMG]

    Thanks
     
  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    25,565
    70
    421
    Sep 25, 2007
    Michigan
    I think that would be just fine and, in fact, it would encourage them to scratch around more to find the bugs that could be hiding beneath the chips. However, if they are cedar chips, probably not a good idea. The oils that make them smell so good are toxic to chickens...although if they are old/dry, they'd be okay to use.

    OH! Just noticed this is your first post: WELCOME to BYC!
     
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2009
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    95
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    No problem at all. If it gets very wet and muddy you may find the bark eventually decomposing (to make worse, more-lingering mud) (and mud in a run will make smells and flies)... but then you can rake it out and replace with the same or something else.

    Don't worry about the cedar thing outdoors.

    GOod luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  4. gardenak

    gardenak Chillin' With My Peeps

    276
    1
    131
    Apr 3, 2009
    Douglas, AK
    Hi- thanks for the quick responses! To tell you the truth, I'm not sure what they are made from-I'm guessing they are cedar due to the red color-they only smell good the first couple days and then it's over. I live in SE Alaska so it rains a lot, I suspect anything that is on the bark would probably be washed off fairly quickly. Because of the rain, we NEED something there to keep it from getting muddy. I put fresh bark down once a year and it seems to hold up well under all the foot traffic.
     
  5. funkychickenowner

    funkychickenowner Out Of The Brooder

    95
    0
    39
    Aug 30, 2008
    Sussex County NJ
    If you are talking about using an existing space you have that has a lot of daily traffic DO NOT make this a run for chickens they will turn this place into a desert and a mud pit when wet they need their own designated space.
     
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    12,521
    95
    341
    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Oh... yeah, you probably don't want to make the chicken run an area you have to walk through to get into and out of the house. You will be tracking chicken poo EVERYWHERE, plus the run will get really muddy and nasty.

    Have you considered pavers btw, or anything else like that (large flat rocks, big pieces of flat-topped concrete rubble) as stepping-stones for your muddy path problem. It is best if you can set them on a bed of gravel or such but if you don't mind resetting them periodically (they will sink) you can just put them on the ground, perhaps even on a bed of mulch to slow their descent.

    GOod luck,

    Pat
     
  7. melissastraka

    melissastraka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 26, 2009
    Hoquiam, WA
    My coop is in the middle of our run and it is horrible. On the brighter side we use a lot of hay around our run for them to pick through but we have to clean it and add more every saturday...(hence i am in here and not doing it yet) but they all meet us at the door wanting to be petted and played with so it is nice that we have that.
     
  8. gardenak

    gardenak Chillin' With My Peeps

    276
    1
    131
    Apr 3, 2009
    Douglas, AK
    Hello-

    The flat spot in the back yard is narrow, but I don't plan on having to walk through the run area, I'll make a path on the outside of the fence to walk around- this is the only area I have to make a run. I live on a hillside so hauling enough gravel up 2 flights of stairs and around the back of the house in 3/4 full 5 gallon buckets, to fill in the area is not something I want to do-hence the bark, it's light and works great. If it's safe for the girls, that is what I'd like to continue using.
     
  9. plantchicki

    plantchicki New Egg

    1
    0
    6
    Apr 8, 2009
    Silver City
    Has anyone used pecan shell mulch? We are getting ready to design and build our first coop and wanted to get some feedback.... Thanks![​IMG]
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by