Mould in bark can kill poultry
Q I use bark as a successful mulch in my garden and find it is economical. Can I use it for my hens as well?
A Victoria Roberts says: Bark is not recommended for hens since it harbours mould, particularly the Aspergillus mould, which is likely to infect the respiratory system of hens and can kill them. There are plenty of other substrates you can use as litter, whether this is chopped straw, livestock shavings, or — my favourite — Easichick bedding (small pieces of wood) as it lasts longer than other litter types, does not blow away or cap with faeces and hens don’t tend to eat it. Other substrates can be pea gravel or wood chips or recycled rubber, all of which will need a permeable membrane underneath to discourage perennial weeds. If the hens have already stripped the area of grass and if you have the space to do so by temporarily re-housing them, re-seed the area, then place 2.5cm (1in) mesh over the top on a frame so that the hens can eat the grass and insects, but not scratch up the roots.
Bark is not recommended for hens