mulch in pen?


10 Years
Apr 2, 2009
Lake Luzerne, NY
Can I put bagged cedar mulch in my chicken pen attached to the coop as something to scratch around in? Not sure if the cedar is ok. My chickens have dug a deep hole in the dirt to dust bathe in and I'd like to fill it with something to they would enjoy rolling around in. Bagged mulch would be easy to do. Thanks for the help


pays attention sporadically
10 Years
May 22, 2009
North Central Florida
not cedar. it is too rough on their respiratory system. I rake up oak leaves and place them in a huge pile in the center of the run. It keeps them entertained and gets that itch to scratch satisfied. the big craters in your pen are them dust bathing. When it gets really hot, I will fill a hole with water. They pull up their little skirts and go wading.
edited because spell check is not flawless.
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11 Years
Aug 30, 2009
Mt Repose, OH
My Coop
My Coop
Can't use cedar, or cypress, have to stick to hardwood or pine. The best way is to call around to tree trimmers, and ask for a dump when they're close by, supposing they know what trees are chipped into the back of that truck. Untreated, all natural, straight off a tree. Typically, free on top of it. A lot of them have to pay for a place to dump. They'll dump it in your driveway for free and save themselves some money. Some won't do it because they use it or sell it. My mom used to flag them down at red lights near our house, when they just happened to pull up. I'm guessing a phone book could be just as effective. Usually some leaves and small twigs and things will be mixed in. But you can't beat free.

The only thing about mulch and chickens, is poo build up, moisture, and the subsequent odor from that. Add in warm temperatures, and you can also get white fungus and some mold. So you only want to give them small bits at a time, just a corner to play in. Covering the whole floor of the run several inches thick will breed additional issues in a moisture driven environment.

It will look really pretty on day one, and the chicks will get a lot of fun on it. What sucks is when you notice an issue and you have to shovel it all back out. Leaves are way better for entertainment, the chicks nails' tear it, and it breaks down much faster.

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