tree and brush chips in the run area, good or bad?


9 Years
Sep 16, 2012
Hello everyone, I have a question concerning the run area of my chicken coop. for a while now I kept the run area just dirt, nothing can grow since they spend most of the day in there, I let them free range a few hours at the end of each day so they don't get mad at me or try a prison break :) . about 2 weeks ago I was able to get a hold of a large supply of wood chips from the company that go's around trimming trees that are near power lines. I layered the run area with it, about 4 inches deep and the chickens seem to love it, they spend the day either scratching at it or they spread out on it and take naps, the chips have a nice smell which keeps the area fresh smelling, the trees they are made from where fresh, there is no poop smell at all. Also when it rains the run area stays pretty dry, when it was just dirt it turn into mud.

I wanted to know if it's ok for chickens to be in wood chips that are made by a variety of trees and shrubs, good amount being pine, also should I change the whole thing out once a month? or just layer fresh stuff on top every couple of months?? not sure what I should use as a schedule, I have 7 hens and one rooster, any info would be appreciated.

Thank you
I'd just dump all you can get into the run and not clean it out. The chips will decompose, keep the poop from being too smelly, and encourage insect populations. They'll also help manage mud, always a bonus.

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