Leaves for run flooring

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Yay Chicks!, Jul 31, 2010.

  1. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    So, here's the scenario...
    I've been using the dried leaves from our giant sweet gum for the flooring of our small covered run. It's worked really well. I've added a wheelbarrow full every week and my 4 girls like to scratch and scatter the pile of leaves. Then over the week they quickly pulverized the leaves and poop into compost. It hasn't smelled at all. HOWEVER, I've finally run out of leaves...plus as they've grown, so has their poop and they need more leaves. So, finally, here's my question. I do have some dried leaves from a laurel, a Camelia and a Rhodadendron. Anyone use these in a run? Anyone know if the leaves would be toxic (a bit off topic perhaps)? Anyway, if you know, please let me know. I'm probably going to have to go get some sand otherwise. I was hoping to take the free route until the leaves start falling again [​IMG] Thanks.
  2. bywaterdog

    bywaterdog Songster

    Dec 29, 2008
    I'm not sure about the leaves that you mentioned, but fresh (no chemicals) grass clippings are great. Your chickens will love them and it will keep the smell down . The grass clippings along with the chicken poop will add the Nitrogen to the leaves Carbon to achieve a very nice compost.
    If you have a good supply of leaves in the fall try putting the excess into large lawn trash bags for next years use.

    Free is a very good thing-- it might bring down the cost of eggs to $60.00 each.[​IMG]

    Well after 1 1/2 years I'm at my 100th. post.
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I think you would be OK to use these in the run. pretty much all my yard waste makes a trip through the run. Grass & lawn clippings all spring and summer. Leaves all fall and winter.
    Camelia seems to be nontoxic
    Laurel is part of the Rhodie family of plants and can have cardiovascular effects.
    And there are several plants with the words camelia or laurel in them, including Bay Leaves in your kitchen.
    I can't imagine that my chickens would eat those tough leaves, but ultimately it is up to you.

    good luck whatever you decide


  4. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    Thanks, Bywaterdog. And congrats on your 100th post. [​IMG] I don't water in the summer and we haven't had any rain for a while, so the fresh lawn clippings will have to wait [​IMG] but it's good to plan ahead.
    Thanks, Imp. And thanks for posting the toxic list again.
  5. mgw

    mgw Songster

    May 29, 2010
    Eastern Wa.
    I think they would know if they were not good for them. I believe you will be fine.
  6. 3chimama

    3chimama Songster 8 Years

    May 8, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    What a great idea!

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