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A local tree surgeon dropped off a substantial amount of (free) wood chips from a pine tree to go in our 3m paved run.There are leaves, some pine needles and some bark mixed in not a huge amount but it is there.I’m concerned that it’s not as cleanly processed as the bought hard wood chip, I’m reluctant to pay £100 for the deluxe play grade wood chip but obviously would if there was any risk to the chickens? I’m aware of spores in bark and the impact on the chickens respiratory system so some guidance would be appreciated on if I can use, even short term? 

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I also have a huge delivery of hardwood chips. I am a first time owner setting up a run. if I use wood chips, how often do I have to change them? Some advice says you can leave it and just hose down; some says i'll have to rake it out and compost periodically but how often and is this necessary? The chips are big - 3-4" in most cases. They are going over dirt.

Thanks for any advice! I want healthy chicks! and hopefully easy cleaning regimen.


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