leaves as litter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by watchdogps, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. watchdogps

    watchdogps Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    Central Ohio
    Would it be okay to put my raked leaves in the bottom of the chicken room?
  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Sure you should see my run right now. 3 or 4 wheel barrels full of maple leaves. Very funny to watch. Put it in a pile and they re-model the entire pile for you all over again. Good luck.
  3. SC_Hugh

    SC_Hugh Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    Santa Cruz, CA
    My chickens love to scratch around in dried leaves and search for bugs, now is the season for that. I collect and compost over a yard of maple leaves from the neighbor's yard. Those breakdown over the winter and spring, then back into the garden.

    Last year, I only put the leaves in the outdoor run. This year, I plan to put the leaves inside the coop and run. After the leaves breakdown, then over to the compost pile.
  4. mpare

    mpare Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 16, 2010
    Dillsburg, PA
    I have wood shavings in the coop but fill my run with leaves every fall. And I mean fill. The leaves are at least 12 inches deep. The chickens sometimes look like little periscopes as all I can see is their heads as they walk around. The chickens love it and are busy for hours rummaging and diving through the leaves. I also hope it helps to keep them warm in the winter. I save bags of leaves and every few weeks over the winter replenish the leaves as they break down quickly. There is no odor. In the spring I rake the leaves out, dump them in the compost and add a new thick layer of sand to the run. We have lots of trees (oak, maple, locust, ash, dogwood, pear...) and this system works well for the chickens and for us.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  5. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2011
    Rison, Arkansas
    I use leaves in my runs. There is only one problem, if you get too much in the run, the leaves will hold moisture.
  6. yellowirenut

    yellowirenut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 27, 2011
    New haven, IN
    Quote:That is my concern..the leaves seem to mold a bit before fully drying.
  7. mpare

    mpare Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 16, 2010
    Dillsburg, PA
    My run is small enough that I can cover it with a clear tarp. I leave one end open so that there is lots of ventilation. I make sure the leaves are bone dry before adding them to the run and the girls are constantly moving the leaves around looking for the sunflower seeds I toss in daily. I also sprinkle the leaves with some stall dry or sweet pdz weekly. I have had no problems with moisture. It even gets dusty at times. I agree, leaves (like straw) in a open run could get wet and nasty.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2011
  8. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Boerne, TX
    we have an open run and ours have not been nasty at all. My husband does go in there and rearrange the leaves several times per week.
  9. simplynewt

    simplynewt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 12, 2011
    My Coop
    Leaves are awesome to put into the run. My hens love it. They scratch around and even get bits of grasses that are raked up with the leaves. It also helps in absorbing some of their poo.
  10. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    This is a great idea! I already put a few leaves in with the straw for my pigs and goats, don't know why I didn't think of it for the coop.

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