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

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by MyLittleRedCoop, Nov 16, 2012.

  1. MyLittleRedCoop

    MyLittleRedCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2012
    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! (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!
  2. gmendoza

    gmendoza Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 23, 2010
    Rock Hill,SC
    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.
  3. popsicle

    popsicle Chillin' With My Peeps

    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.
  4. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    Sand works quite well.

  5. MyLittleRedCoop

    MyLittleRedCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2012
    My Coop
    Thanks, guys!
  6. PeepsAreForMe

    PeepsAreForMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2012
    Pemberton Borough, NJ
    Bark doesn't look too comfy on their feet. Would it cause bumblefoot? If I were a chicken I probably would not like it. But then, I would want heat in my coop too . . . .

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