Scratchn By

11 Years
Nov 7, 2008
East Texas
hello everyone!

If I'm going to use a mulch in my runs, what type is best? Cedar, eucalyptus, pine shavings, pine bark... What does the best job, without harming my babes?

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I have a tree farm and nursery and I use the tree grindings I get from some of my tree trimming cuctomers, it contains citrus trees, ash, hack berry, oak, mesquite, and some native brush, thus farm have not had a problem with any of it, I dump it in thick about 6 inches deep, we add a little and take a little as garden and plants need it!! they scratch and move it around constantly working it in and the best part is its FREE!!
I like using the pine bark because it holds together and last longer than mulch. But this year I am going to have washed pea gravel hauled in and put in my pens...
Will last longer and be cheaper in the long run.
I have clay soil here and it is a muddy mess whenever it rains....
Thanks! I think I'm going with pea gravel and a sand area. The mulch is not going to be cost effective, I believe (unless you get it for free!
). Is there any problem with using cedar or eucalyptus, heath wise for the chickens?
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Cedar is supposed to cause respiratory problems when used in a brooder. I'd be careful of Eucalyptus also due to the oils. I have not heard of any other causing a problem. Many people recommend pine.

Pea gravel and sand should work real well.
Yes, for chicks I understand. I'm wondering health wise about the biguns? I'm considering pine, but I wondered if these others would hold down pest issues (but, i guess the chickens do that!

Does anyone know if these mulches will have ill affect on adult chickens. I'd hate to buy a truck load and find out it had to go. After it hurt my babes...
If you used the pea gravel you could shovel it up to every quarter and put it on top of a screen and hose it down to clean it off and then put it back in.

I am wondering though how deep should to make the pea gravel?

I get free mulch delivered by the truckload for no cost from the crews that work for our local electric company. When I see their distinctive trucks in my neighborhood trimming the branches away from the powerlines, or hear the sound of their chippers, I go find their foreman and give them my address. They're glad to be able to dump their loads locally, saving them the time/gas/expense of a trip across town to the landfill, so they can get back to work more quickly. And I of course am thrilled to get freely-delivered free mulch.

Sometimes you can work out similar deals with other private landscape companies. Make sure you ask them for chipped branches, not mulch. Some of them want to charge you for that.

You could contact your county extension office to see if there are any local trees or plants that might end up in your chippings that might be harmful to your chickens.
If this is in an outdoor run, you're not going to have problems with fumes.

You do want to make sure that whatever you put in is not moldy or fermented (as can happen if you get a big dumpload of chippings from a tree service).

Good luck, have fun,

The stuff I get from the tree crews is so fresh it hasn't had time to get moldy or fermented. They're bringing it to me as soon as their truck gets filled, so they can get right back on to the job. But it usually has time to sit & steam & cook down before it gets put into the runs. I dump it by the wheelbarrow-full in a big pile in the run and the chickens spread it all around for me.

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