Large tree bark in run? Is it really effective? How is it with SNOW?

MyLittleRedCoop

Songster
7 Years
Jun 21, 2012
145
35
126
My Coop
My Coop
Our girls have enjoyed their new run, but the grass has taken a beating. It's been dry, but I know that winter will bring plenty of wet snow and "wintery mix" to make the dry dirt a cold, muddy mess. (Not to mention what the spring thaw will do to it!!) I need to do something to prevent what will surely be a huge mess.

I saw on a thread that someone used large tree bark chunks as a run covering. From what they said, the "Chicken Whisperer" recommended it. The person said that they had used it for 6 months and it still looked great and didn't smell. Pictures were posted. I was very impressed. It looked fantastic!

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/544162/deep-litter-for-the-run (4th post down by colebarnhart)

The only thing that kept me from jumping and and rushing out the door to find me some for my own run, was my hesitation over how it would work for me with snow. I live in Mn. Snow is going to happen - in many different forms, in large quantities, and likely often. It is a given that I will need to shovel the surface of the run multiple times thoughout the winter.

So my question is:
Has anyone who has this sort of run cover ever had to shovel it?

I imagine I would just need to carefully skim across the top and try not to scrape any up? But I would love to hear from those who have had this sort of run fill, and dealt with snow and shoveling with it.

Also, is this stuff really as awesome as it looks at keeping things dry, clean-looking and not-stinky?

Thanks so much for the help!
 

gmendoza

Songster
9 Years
Mar 23, 2010
2,341
44
204
Rock Hill,SC
Our girls have enjoyed their new run, but the grass has taken a beating. It's been dry, but I know that winter will bring plenty of wet snow and "wintery mix" to make the dry dirt a cold, muddy mess. (Not to mention what the spring thaw will do to it!!) I need to do something to prevent what will surely be a huge mess.

I saw on a thread that someone used large tree bark chunks as a run covering. From what they said, the "Chicken Whisperer" recommended it. The person said that they had used it for 6 months and it still looked great and didn't smell. Pictures were posted. I was very impressed. It looked fantastic!

https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/544162/deep-litter-for-the-run (4th post down by colebarnhart)

The only thing that kept me from jumping and and rushing out the door to find me some for my own run, was my hesitation over how it would work for me with snow. I live in Mn. Snow is going to happen - in many different forms, in large quantities, and likely often. It is a given that I will need to shovel the surface of the run multiple times thoughout the winter.

So my question is:
Has anyone who has this sort of run cover ever had to shovel it?

I imagine I would just need to carefully skim across the top and try not to scrape any up? But I would love to hear from those who have had this sort of run fill, and dealt with snow and shoveling with it.

Also, is this stuff really as awesome as it looks at keeping things dry, clean-looking and not-stinky?

Thanks so much for the help!
I use pine shavings.then in the spring I transfer that to the yard to grow grass.Last late summer pine shavings went into the garden for next years growing. works better than wood chips,but to each their own.
 

popsicle

Songster
8 Years
Oct 27, 2011
1,799
139
231
Looking at the mountains in MT
I would use shavings until spring, then use the bark when most of the snow is gone. I think it would be impossible to just "skim" over the top, the birds will get it all mixed up with the snow and you'll be shoveling out your investment.

I like the idea of the bark and might consider trying it next year.
 

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