More CEDAR questions: swingset mulch in the run? OK or not?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by SeaChick, May 2, 2008.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    hi-

    This inquiry is from a friend who's taking two of our 6+ week-old chicks next week. She's seetting up housing for them and wants to put the run where their old swingset was. The swingset has been mulched with cedar chips for the last 6 years.

    She wants to know if its OK to leave them as is for run bedding, or whether she needs to dig them out (and if so how thoroughly?).

    I don't know how to advise. I do wonder if all that digging through the cedar all day long would be good for them, especially since they're young chicks... what do you all think?

    Here's a quote from her email:
    I did pick up a bale of pine (for the henhouse), but I'm wondering about the ground cover that we have where we're going to have the run. Since it's going to be right where the swingset was, we had spread cedar playground chips there over the past six years or so. I can dig those out, I think, but I'm wondering what the concern is about cedar and how much we might need to do in terms of moving it. Like is it ok to have them in the garden if there are cedar chips there? Is it something to totally avoid, or is it something less dire?​
     
  2. stilwellchick

    stilwellchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 16, 2007
    Stilwell, KS
    I did. I put my run in an area with 2 y/o cedar and they were fine. I think the chips were aged enough by then.
     
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Thanks, stillwellchick. Were yours young or full-grown when they went on the 2-yr-old cedar? These girls are 6-weeks-ish (and one's less developed than the others).
     
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Personally I suspect it will be just fine, as long as all the cedar chips are old. The culprit is the volatile oils, which should long since be evaporated and/or bound to clays from the dirt that is undoubtedly mixed in. And besides they're outdoors and thus very well ventilated.

    OTOH I can understand worrying [​IMG] If your friend is *really* concerned, what if she spread some dirt (not potting soil, just real honest to gosh dirt dug up elsewhere on property) over the cedar chips, just a couple few inches. Of course the chicks will mix it all together eventually but that's sort of the point, and by then they'll be older, too.

    Just an idea,

    Pat
     
  5. stilwellchick

    stilwellchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 16, 2007
    Stilwell, KS
    My chicks were 6 weeks old, maybe even 5 weeks. They were large breed pullet chicks and are all happy healthy grown hens now. I have added pine shavings to their run along with the 2 year old cedar chips. I add more shavings from time to time and they scratch it all together. My run never smells bad. Of course it is covered also so it stays pretty dry in there.
     
  6. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Thanks, guys. I forwarded your replies to my friend!
     

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