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Pine Needles in run

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by mhay1, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. mhay1

    mhay1 In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2016
    I have been reading about using pine needles in the chicken run on some of the older posts. I love that idea as we have several pine trees on our property and more next door. We did put some of the dried brown needles in one area of the run. It looked like some of the hens were trying to eat them, but I couldn't tell for sure, maybe they were just picking at them. I got nervous and didn't put any more in. Maybe they were just checking out to see if it was something good to eat, but being a newbie I seem to be over cautious about everything. Some chicken owners say it is harmful for the chickens if they eat the pine needles, ( I am not sure mine actually did) others say they use the dried pine needles in their run all the time. I would like to use this method, but I am concerned if they start to eat them. Any advice from those that use the dried pine needles?
    Thanks so much.

  2. chickcrack

    chickcrack Songster

    May 27, 2016
    Ontario, Canada
    I have never put them in the run but do have 2 large shaded (by pine trees) areas in the yard that they free range in and they loooooove scratching in them and looking for bugs and worms. They are under those trees daily and never seen them eating them.
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    I have some mixed in with the soil in my garden beds but my chickens don't show any interest in eating them. They do seem to like throwing it all around. My guess is most likely your chickens are just digging for goodies but if it really does seem like they're eating the needles instead, just to be on the safe side, I wouldn't give them access to it.

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