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Is Mulch Safe for Chickens? (Safe Options to Consider)

Is Mulch Safe for Chickens? (Safe Options to Consider)

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A surprising number of people are getting into raising chickens in their backyards. If you’ve just started keeping them in your yard, you’re probably trying to do the best that you can to learn how to care for them.

Overall, caring for chickens is a very rewarding experience, but it is important to look out for potential problems.

This is why many new chicken owners are unsure about whether or not mulch is safe for chickens. You don’t want your chickens to wind up messing with mulch and getting sick.

Whether or not it’s safe will largely depend on the composition of the mulch that you’re using.

Most Mulch Is Safe for Chickens

Chicken Waling in Mulch

Most types of mulch that you will see people using will be safe for chickens to be around. The problem with determining whether it’s safe or not really comes down to the specific type that you’re using.

Mulch is really a very broad term, and this means that there are a ton of different mulch types out there that you can choose from.

Some types will be just fine for chickens, but there will be some that you should stay away from. Read on to go over different types of mulch so that you can get a better idea of what is safe.

Once you’ve read all of the information, it’ll be simpler to make safe mulch choices.

Pine Needles

Pine Needles on Ground

Pine needles are okay to use as mulch if you want to, but many don’t find it to be the best option. It’s also a common chicken bedding material that people use. Some owners shy away from it since pine needles aren’t soft, but many chickens seem to like it just fine.

The one bad aspect of pine needles is that they will likely get all over the place. This might not be a big problem, but it is worth noting that they don’t always stay in place well.

The important thing to remember is that pine needles are perfectly safe for chickens.

Wood Chips and Bark-Based Mulch

Chicken in Wood Chips

Wood chips and bark-based mulch will be perfectly fine for your chickens. This actually works out really well because chickens can fairly easily look for bugs through the wood chips.

In fact, many experts highly recommend wood chips for your chicken flooring area because of how easy it is for them.

One of the best aspects of using wood chips will be the incredible durability. Wood chips are going to be able to last for quite a long time, and they also happen to be very easy to clean.

Overall, wood chips make a lot of sense when you’re raising chickens.

Grass Clippings

There are people who use grass clippings as mulch, and some even use it as bedding for chickens. This can work out, but it’s only going to be fine if it’s completely dry. You might want to stay away from this because it could easily get moldy and start to smell very bad.

Technically, this is safe for chickens, but that doesn’t mean that grass clippings will be ideal to use. It can be nice to repurpose some of your clippings so that they don’t go to waste, but it just isn’t usually the best solution.

Be mindful of the downside of using grass clippings before making your decision.


Chicken House with Chickens in Straw

Straw is one of the other most common types of mulch, and lots of people use it as bedding for chickens. It makes sense that this would be an ideal option for chicken bedding, but there are some issues to look out for.

For example, you need to keep it dry and you also need to watch out for parasites that can try to hide in straw.

The best part of using this type of mulch is that it will be very comfortable for your chickens. It’s very common for people to use straw as mulch and as bedding material for various types of animals.

Just try your best to keep it dry for your chickens and you should have a good experience.

Cedar Mulch

Cedar mulch might not be safe to use for your chickens because there is some evidence to suggest that it will cause problems.

This mulch has been known to cause issues such as respiratory problems and skin irritation. Don’t use this mulch for your chickens so long as you can help it.

To give you a better idea of why this type of mulch causes problems, it contains the same chemical that is used in mothballs. It makes sense that it could become an irritant to some of your chickens.

Being careful and taking care of your chickens right makes much more sense.

Cypress Mulch

Cypress Mulch is a type of mulch that can look very similar to cedar mulch, but it’s actually going to be safe to use. It’s made out of completely organic materials, and you’ll be able to use it with confidence.

If you’re looking for a good mulch material that is safe to have around your chickens, this will certainly do the trick.

It’s also good to note that this mulch looks very nice. If you want something that is safe to use while also providing some aesthetic appeal, you might find this option to be one of the best choices.

Just consider all the factors so that you can make the right choice for your property and your chickens.

Shredded Leaves

Shredded leaves will be another mulch type that some people will consider due to overall convenience.

You might be able to make your own shredded leaf mulch quite easily depending on how many leaves you have to work with. Lots of people do use this mulch in chicken coops, but you should be careful.

This is another mulch type that needs to be kept dry so that you won’t run into problems. If it gets wet, then your shredded leaf mulch can easily become moldy, and this makes it less than perfect for your chickens.

It isn’t the best mulch type out there, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be utilized safely.


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