Can I use cedar chips on my birds?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by magicpigeon, Dec 28, 2010.

  1. magicpigeon

    magicpigeon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2010
    I read somewhere they keep down mites. Just hoping they won't keep down the chickens too [​IMG] Any firsthand experience? I'm really paranoid about chicken lice. I have long hair and have this specific phobia of them infesting themselves there.....[​IMG]

    Thanks [​IMG]
  2. MTopPA_18707

    MTopPA_18707 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I read in one place that:

    - Cedar is great because it discourages parasites, bugs, etc.

    then I read:

    - Cedar is bad for the birds respiratory system. The smell/oil hurts their lungs.

    I haven't used it personally.

    Last edited: Dec 28, 2010
  3. ruthless

    ruthless Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Mount Vernon, Mo
    Do not use cedar chips for any animal. The oils in the cedar cause respiratory problems among other things. I don't know why they continue to manufacture these things as being for animal bedding.

    Any animal can have parasites. Keep them clean and check them frequently. You can easily treat them. I am sure that many will have advise on preventative treatment for parasites. Most mites and lice are species specific and will not live on the human body.
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Make sure they have a nice dust bath that stays dry, too. They will dust bathe to smother external parasites.
  5. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    The cedar contains a chemical that can be toxic to chickens if inhaled or ingested.
  6. Pequena Bandada

    Pequena Bandada Small Flock

    Jun 13, 2010
    No no no, and more no! As everyone else has said, the cedar can be toxic to chickens. Stick with pine or other wood chips/shavings. Keep your coop clean and you don't have to worry about things like lice (ick!!).
  7. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Quote:Yes and yes, except there are lice that will live on humans. But they do not live on chickens, so no worries.
  8. mulewagon

    mulewagon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2010
    I'll go out and tell my chickens they should be dead, then... They keep snuggling into that cedar to lay, and also in the hospital cage. And they were raised on it for several months as chicks.

    Cedar bedding is an old practice. So is putting tobacco leaves in the bedding, to discourage bugs.
  9. RIBill

    RIBill Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Cedar is not horribly toxic, per se. Also, cedar is many different genus/species in many different places. The problem caused by the "fumes" from some cedar is that they can irritate the respiratory tract. The stronger the smell, the worse it will be. In an open, well ventilated coop, just using cedar for the nests would probably be perfectly fine. Using it as the only bedding in a tight coop would be less fine. If it's dusty, it would probably represent a significant hazzard. That said, I'm of the opinion that nest boxes should be cleaned regularly, which will keep parasites down. I clean mine out weekly. It gives a nice fresh coat of relatively clean litter to the coop and fresh stuff to the nests.
  10. augustmomx2

    augustmomx2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2008
    Central Indiana
    I had a mite infestation in all 3 of my coops this summer/fall [​IMG] I ended up using an old bag of cedar shavings my dh accidently bought when we first got chickens. I used it only in the nest boxes and mixed it in w/pine as well. I have not had any probs, but my coops are well ventilated and the shavings were quite old, so the smell wasn't as strong. I have to say, I have not had any additional probs w/insects after a dosing of Sevin dust, DE and cedar shavings. Just my $.02 [​IMG]

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