building nesting box question. Cedar wood OK?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by sano2b8, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. sano2b8

    sano2b8 New Egg

    Feb 25, 2009
    newbie here and very thankful I stumbled into this forum. I just built a pen for chickens and lady amherst pheasants. They will be separated. My question is this. Can I use untreated Cedar to build the nesting box? I have an old flower bench I would like to "recycle" which is made out of cedar.

    I read that cedar shavings aren't good for the floor, but will cedar wood have an effect on layers? I don't plan on hatching eggs, just collecting them for personal use. Total of 3 chickens.


  2. Wynette

    Wynette Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Nope. The oils in cedar can be toxic to chickens. Untreated pine is best. [​IMG]
  3. glassparman

    glassparman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2008
    Mojave, CA
    Maybe it depends on how the wood was treated.

    I have a complete coop made from cedar fencing and it has never been a problem. There are NO cedar shavings, just the solid board siding.

  4. Chickenfortress

    Chickenfortress Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2008
    The aromatic hydrocarbon "cedarol" which causes respiratory irritation will remain at insignificant levels in the coop built of cedar wood. The oil remains locked in the cellular structure of the dried wood and has a very difficult time diffusing through the micropores in the cell walls to get to your chickens environment. Cedar shavings give off their supply of oil in a very short time because the act of shaving the wood not only exposes a vastly larger surface area for it to diffuse from, but also fractures the cellulose walls that contain it. You will benefit from the use of cedarwood in the construction because it is strong relative to its mass and the cedarol has fungicidal, pesticidal and bactericidal properties. Contrary points would be cost compared to spruce/pine/fir materials (thats what the SPF stamp on lumber means), relative softness/absorptiveness and the fact that it has a resistance to paints ability to hold to its surface without primer due to the high oil content.

    So, if it's what you have, by all means use it. If you are buying material, use the cheaper lumber and seal or treat it and you will come out with a better product for a lower cost.
  5. sano2b8

    sano2b8 New Egg

    Feb 25, 2009
    Thanks guys for all the input. Very much appreciated!


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