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Oak chips for coop litter?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by azelgin, Mar 5, 2008.

  1. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 18, 2008
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    We're new to chickens and this site as well. We really enjoy and appreciate all the information that comes across these posts.

    I've heard not to use cedar chips, or shavings for coop litter, but no mention of any other woods that may cause problems. The drought down here in AZ has left me with both a lifetime supply of oak firewood, as well as the brush and limbs that go with it. I have a tractor mounted wood chipper to clean up the left overs and was wondering if there were any reason I should not use the resulting chips to cover the floor of the coop?

    Thanks for any input.
     
  2. hensdeliverthegoods

    hensdeliverthegoods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good question, I've been wondering that myself. I'm surrounded by trees and have a wood chipper, so it seems silly to pay for the stuff! [​IMG]
     
  3. Jillylam

    Jillylam Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm sorry I can't help answer your question but I just had to say that I've been dreaming of owning a chipper. Everytime I throw branches and stuff into the woods I feel like I'm wasting them when I could be chipping them up and using them.

    Edited to add: Sorry, I forgot to say welcome to BYC! Welcome!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2008
  4. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC. I don't know of any reason why oak chips cannot be used. Sounds like a good use for a natural resource.
     
  5. TechEdFireman

    TechEdFireman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome!

    I would say if you are using a wood chipper the litter will be really course and not that absorbent. You could use it as a base layer if you are doing a DLM, just make sure they are dry oak holds moisture for a while. Now if you had a wood planer or jointer the wood would be turned into shavings which would be slightly absorbent compared to pine shavings. They work just not as efficiently MHO. If you want to put chips in the run for the girls to have something to play with that should be fine. I totally understand why you want to ask, I am a "shop" teacher and I am starting this coop with my shavings from school which are a mix of wood from pine, maple, walnut, oak I'm pretty sure it will work and heck its waste from my students. Hope this helps.
     
  6. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for all your responses!

    We've been using the chips in the barn and mule's stalls and they have been a great help in keeping down the dust. They are also one of the few items the mules won't eat. The big guys consider straw as food.

    I tried using shavings (pine) from my planner in the chicken's brooder, but my machine doesn't make a deep enough cut to make shavings that were heavy enough. The peeps thought they were delicious and we took them away from them before they ate too many. All the oak chips are from dead wood and very dry, so, considering our humidity during the winter down here is usually below 20%, I don't think we'll have a problem with things getting too damp. I was mostly concerned with any toxins that oak might contain.

    The tractor mounted chipper has been one of the best things we have evey bought for the place. We tried one of the 10 hp homeowner types and it was just too slow to do what we needed. The tractor powered one gets rid of stuff faster than we were able to burn it before. It's so much fun, I just keep looking around the place for stuff to throw in it. The wife keeps yelling "STOP!!!, that's big enough for fire wood!":mad:.

    Thanks again for all your help.

    Randy
     
  7. TechEdFireman

    TechEdFireman Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would love to have one of those chippers I have alot of trees that need to be trimmed and limbs that I have already piled up.
     
  8. hensdeliverthegoods

    hensdeliverthegoods Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For those that want to get chippers, have a look in your local classifieds or craigslist. I got mine used for very little money, and I see them for sale all the time. Ours will take up to 3 inch diameter branches and only cost $100. Good luck! [​IMG]
     

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