question about mulch containing some cedar


10 Years
Oct 12, 2009
Leander, TX
Our local elec. company hired a crew of folks to go around in our county, I assume, to cut limbs that were touching power lines. DH let the crew unload their cuttings after running them through a shredder, on the back section of our property. As a result, we have quite a few large mounds of mulch.
Our chickens, guineas, and ducks hang around the coops and building very close to the front of the house. There is a storage barn, the width of about a 1 1/2 car garage, but long enough to put two cars in, end to end. There is a cement slab on one side of the building, and we have a chicken roosting/laying area there that is on the cement. ( I use sand for poop boards, and lots of sand gets on the dries and is easy to sweep up...just fyi). On the other side of the building are two storage pods (5X8X7 ft. tall) that we use for chicken coops. One is near the storage building and the other out about 20 feet.
This information is only to give you and idea of the area I was considering covering with the mulch. The fowl can range anywhere in our 8 acres...they mostly stay on the front 4 acres (and on the porch!), so they could get away from the mulch, but I'm thinking how the mulch would help to cover the rocky ground, which is muddy at the moment. We have many trees out here, so there is no "grass" to speak of, and it seemed that the mulch covering the area closer to where the chickens eat and sleep, would be good. question is mostly about the cedar part of the mulch. I hae no idea how much is cedar...I would think not much, because the limbs that they trimmed were mostly live oaks that branch out....there wouldn't be too many cedar trees covering the elec. lines, I suppose. DH says he can smell the cedar in the mulch though...I can not. Also, the mulch piles are probably moldy, after we have suddenly gotten rain in Texas. So.....I'm wondering if a layer of mulch spread out over a pretty large area, would be safe for the fowl...biggest concern being the cedar, but I'm also worried about the mold. And the shavings are more coarse...not as fine as they could be. Since the chickens would be on the mulch a lot, but it is out in the open, I wonder if the cedar would even matter?
Any ideas at all will be welcome. We have access to a front end loader or whatever it is called...that can scoop the mulch and spread it out...right now. If my idea is not good, I need to know so I can tell DH to forget it. He is busy spreading some of it back where horses are, which is very muddy. I know it is safe for them.
Thank you!
If I'm not mistaken cedar chips are bad for chicks resperation (as well as mold) but I would think that full grown fowl out in the open, to control muddy areas would be alright. Seems to me that free-ranging chikens encounter many things that may not be the best for them but they seem to know what to stay away from. I would spread a little and see if they avoid it and if they do, then don't use it, if they don't seem to mind it and they seem healthy then spread some more. Btw, I used mulch like that once and found it full of poison ivy so be careful:/
Thanks for the reply!!! We don't have baby chickens, but some are still young. We have 7 one month old ducklings..and 13 guineas -most not quite adult yet. I felt like the mulch, being out in the open air, might not be a problem (at least that is what I hoped). DH did bring some up and dumped it between two coops...couldn't get the tractor in there to spread it though. There is so much cedar on all sides of us....right up against the fence line, so I know there is plenty in the air. I try to get the mulch he dumped, spread a bit and watch and see what happens.
Yikes. I hadn't even considered poison ivy. We do have it on our property, so I know others do also. We keep ours killed as much as we can. I'll watch out for it.
LOL! I shouldn't feel so responsible for them, but I do. DH has asked me before if I thought they couldn't live without me watching over them. I guess once my "empty nest" was occupied (is there a pun here?) I was back into the mother mode again.
Thanks for the reminder!
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