Oak leaves in the Chicken yard

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by phalenbeck, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. phalenbeck

    phalenbeck Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 14, 2008
    Canton, N.C.
    To keep my chicken yard cleaner (they promptly turned it to dirt) shall I put the massive quanity if leaves my yard , and change out every so often. So far they seem to like it--but are afraid of the leave at first--the run is in high ground. Anyone see a problem with this instead of straw/mud/sand/or nothing. I got unlimited leaves, and assume that it will compost some poop. I assume that leaf mold and the like is fine for chickens as they used to hit the leaf piles when they were free-range. Free range here means death by fox/raccoon/or hawk.
  2. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
    Very common practice, that's what we do. It'll give them something to do during the day. We have to keep ours in a run due to predators as well. [​IMG]
  3. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    I had heard that oak leaves are toxic to hens. Is that true? I use other kinds in the run and they love it. Maple and poplar too. Jean
  4. skeeter9

    skeeter9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, if they are, then all of my feathered friends would be long dead. Both of my coop/runs are under huge oak trees that drop all kinds of leaves and other debris and I haven't had any problems. I guess the silly little things might know not to eat them if they are toxic, but they definitely scratch round in them a lot. [​IMG]
  5. greenmulberry

    greenmulberry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2007
    I put bags of oak leaves in my run every fall (well, two falls ago and this past fall). The chickens love having something to scratch around in! At least in the covered parts of the run where there is no snow.

    Interestingly, last year, by the time summer was in full swing, all the leaves were gone. I am not sure if they ate them, or just scratched them to smithereens, or they composted and got worked into the run soil. I was kind of hoping to have a bunch of broken down leaves mixed with chicken poop to use in my garden.

    Also, my chickens free range in the woods all summer, which is primarily oak.
  6. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    I have oak trees in my yard and the chickens love to scratch around under them. One chicken actually lived in the oak tree for a long time until she went broody.
  7. SandRun

    SandRun Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 19, 2007
    The only livestock I've heard of oak leaves being poisonous to are sheep for whatever reason. My guess would be the tannic (sic?) acid in oak leaves, they will also lower the Ph of your soil in large quantities which I'd imagine could be good or bad depending on what you're growing.
  8. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Wonderful. The oak leaves would then help to lower the ph. I know the agr. people say to use lime in chicken yards and work it in, let it rest for a while for cocci. ????? Does lime raise or lower the ph? I can never remember? I know it is an alkaline product. So the oak leaves would either increase or lower the cocci. count. I hope it lowers it for I have lots of oak leaves too. Jean
  9. bluie

    bluie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2007
    I am pretty sure that oak leaves are acidic, which would mean they would lower the ph. (DS just did a sci proj about ph)
  10. jemagsy

    jemagsy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 8, 2008
    Lime should raise the PH

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