Run Bedding

meglmcknight

In the Brooder
Jul 30, 2021
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If you can buy undyed mulch that is probably a better option than a massive flood of wood chips all at once.

Wood chips need to be aged to prevent the formation of dangerous molds that tend to attack green wood.

Some municipalities have a place where they put the chipped yard waste that they collect from roadside pickup and then let townspeople take it for free or for a modest fee.

Perhaps you might know someone with a larger property who could also use some wood chips so that you could split a load?

Right now, rake up your fallen leaves and add those to the run. Chickens LOVE a nice pile of leaves to scratch through.
Thanks for all of your ideas! We were going to give them our leaves, but the past week or os has been very rainy so the leaves are soaking wet. I saw in some other posts that only dry leaves should be added - do you know if that's accurate?

Also, I'm having a hard time finding any totally untreated mulch. I found one on Amazon that is cedar, but heard that cedar is one to stay away from. Any brand recommendations? Thanks again!
 

3KillerBs

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Thanks for all of your ideas! We were going to give them our leaves, but the past week or os has been very rainy so the leaves are soaking wet. I saw in some other posts that only dry leaves should be added - do you know if that's accurate?

Also, I'm having a hard time finding any totally untreated mulch. I found one on Amazon that is cedar, but heard that cedar is one to stay away from. Any brand recommendations? Thanks again!

Yes, the leaves should be dry or they pack, mat, and form anaerobic pockets. I use straw from time to time, but in a wet area and when not mixed with other materials it will also pack and mat. Chopped straw is supposed to be better about that, but I've never tried it.

You are correct, don't use cedar.

Go to a garden center and ask them for undyed mulch. Pine bark mulch is probably the easiest to find. I see it available in a number of brands on the Lowes website. Home Depot probably carries it too.
 

NatJ

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We were going to give them our leaves, but the past week or os has been very rainy so the leaves are soaking wet. I saw in some other posts that only dry leaves should be added - do you know if that's accurate?
Wet leaves will probably pack down, but I would throw in a few anyway. They should be able to dry again in the run just as well as on your lawn, so long as they are just a thin layer.

Then when you get dry weather you can put in a lot more leaves.
 

rosemarythyme

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Since you don't have space to store a "truckload" that option won't work well for you (a typical truckload is often several cubic yards). If you have a landscaping supply, that would be where I'd check first, look for bark chunks or untreated mulch. It may be more economical to have them bring 1/2-1 cu yard than to buy bags of it at a big box store.

As far as cedar: I do use cedar but I have western cedar (which is less aromatic) plus it's mixed in with everything else (fir, hemlock) when the tree guys chip it, and I age it out quite a bit, so I feel confident in using it. If you find cedar chips in a retail setting it's likely to be 100% cedar which is not optimal.
 

meglmcknight

In the Brooder
Jul 30, 2021
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Yes, the leaves should be dry or they pack, mat, and form anaerobic pockets. I use straw from time to time, but in a wet area and when not mixed with other materials it will also pack and mat. Chopped straw is supposed to be better about that, but I've never tried it.

You are correct, don't use cedar.

Go to a garden center and ask them for undyed mulch. Pine bark mulch is probably the easiest to find. I see it available in a number of brands on the Lowes website. Home Depot probably carries it too.
Thank you so much, how about these items:
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Countrysid...ural-No-Color-Added-Pine-Bark-Nuggets/4573264

or

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Countrysid...iJutgIGqC6qO_tWAZLRoCctcQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

Do you think the mulch or the nuggets are better? Or perhaps a mixture of both? Thank you again!
 

3KillerBs

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The both look promising.

The bigger the better, but get some of each and watch to see which lasts longer.

I agree.

Additionally, I *personally* believe that a mix of sizes, materials, and textures is superior to any one bedding item alone. So get these. Then, when things dry out, add leaves and other yard waste too.
 

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