Run Questions ALSO wood chips question!

Morgan7782

Dense Egg Goo
9 Years
Mar 22, 2010
2,013
95
201
Sacramento CA
Alright, I have been reading a lot about run bedding/flooring and have a few questions for anybody with runs with their coops.

I have tried planting grass in my chicken's run, because the floor is dirt with one or two iris's (they don't eat them). My chickens are free ranged in the backyard, but I am worried that their run floor is so boring.. lol! The grass I planted didn't grow of course
but I feel like they are.. neglected somehow because they don't have lush vegetation in their run. The run isn't bad at all, but the floor is dirt, and they spend about 4 or so hours throughout the day in the run. They have plenty of space, but is there anything I should try planting? Or is it alright for them to just be on dirt? Are there bugs in dirt the same as grass? Should I feel bad? LOL thanks



One more question:

We had a tree stump ground up in the front of the house. The tree is definately NOT eucalyptas, cedar, or anything with bad fumes. But we have a TON of wood chips from the stump grinding and I was wondering if I could use some of that on the ground of the chicken's run? I think it was some sort of gum tree. The tree guy said it could be used as bedding for chickens, or small animals, but I thought I would post here as well.
 
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Bear Foot Farm

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 31, 2008
5,543
286
288
Grifton NC
You could put the chips in there, but anything organic will tend to hold moisture
Unless your run is HUGE, you'll never get grass to grow.
I'd rather have sand in the run and the shavings in the coop where it's dry
 

TurkeyMountainChickens

Songster
10 Years
Apr 3, 2009
687
6
141
Central Virginia
I wouldn't worry too much about the lack of vegetation in the run, since you free range them. Presumably they are only in there when you're away or in the mornings, etc., and have plenty of time to eat greens when they are out.

We've got a nice pile of wood chips from a tree we had taken down two years ago. The chickens ADORE it. They discovered it about a year ago, and it is still one of their favorite spots to visit.

We did put some of the chips in their coop, but I didn't really like them there - the texture was too coarse. I like wood shavings better inside the coop. But we have put some wood chips and mowed up dead leaves in their run. It's fully covered, so rain doesn't get in. The chickens scratch around in them, but without the high moisture content, there aren't as many bugs.
 

Morgan7782

Dense Egg Goo
9 Years
Mar 22, 2010
2,013
95
201
Sacramento CA
Yeah lol my chickens LOVED my attempt at grass they thoroughly enjoyed the grass seed I just laid haha. So it is not inhumane to have them on sand or dirt as a run floor?

As for the wood chips, I rake the run every day so hopefully that would give it time to dry out. Thanks for the response! They do range in my yard but I want their run to be as enjoyable as possible. The measurements are 9 feet by 12 feet.
 

MaureenL128

Songster
9 Years
May 24, 2010
142
1
103
Long Island, NY
i think putting the wood chips in the run would be great! it will give them something to scratch around in when they have to be locked in the run and it will attract yummy bugs for them
 

elmo

Crowing
11 Years
May 23, 2009
4,900
222
306
DFW
I tried wood chips in the run and hated it. The poop mixed in with the chips and there was no way to clean up easily without shoveling out a whole lot of chips. I switched to sand which I much prefer.
 

Morgan7782

Dense Egg Goo
9 Years
Mar 22, 2010
2,013
95
201
Sacramento CA
I think I will use chips temporarily, we just have a huge pile from this tree and I don't mind wasting if that's what happens. The stump grinder guys were supposed to clean up after, but they left and just left the front a mess so I figured I could put it to some use
Thanks for all the input everybody! It is all very helpful!


Edited To Add: Just spread the wood chips in the run, the girls were TERRIFIED of the wheelbarrel but they absolutely LOVE their new ground cover. Much better then the hard topsoil they were on. They are scratching around and I am sure there are tons of bugs from the tree in there so they are having a great time
I am so glad to have these chips! They are happy chicky bo bo's!
 
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