Cedar brooder???:(

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Shannon's Chix, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. Shannon's Chix

    Shannon's Chix Songster

    Apr 30, 2009
    N.E. Florida
    My DDDDDH was kind enough to finally agree to build me a big 'ol brooder. So he gets done today and I go and look at it and I smell...cedar! The wood he used for the sides he got at Home Depot and it was simply marked "hardwood". It is medium brown/reddish and smells a lot like cedar.

    So since I will have the brooder heated I am assuming I cannot use this as a brooder? Obviously I would not use cedar shavings but it sure does give off that distinct odor...[​IMG]
  2. BellLisamo

    BellLisamo Diagnosed w/ Muscovitis

    Feb 7, 2009
    Tombstone, AZ
    i thought cedar bedding was only harmful if ingested?

    i had no idea the fumes would do anything??? really???

    i hope someone knows
  3. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Cedar gives off fumes from the aromatic oils in it that can cause respiratory trouble in chickens.
    Iffin it were me, I'd replace the wood. Hope someone with more experience will chime in.
  4. txchickie

    txchickie Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    It will be fine! One entire 10ft wall in my coop is made of cedar boards.

    Really, it will be okay! [​IMG]
  5. Oblio13

    Oblio13 Songster

    Jan 26, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I feel like a broken record on this subject, but here I go again:

    The names woods are marketed under can be misleading and confusing.

    The kind of cedar that some people say may be toxic to chickens is the kind used for shavings, which is Eastern Red Cedar, or Aromatic Cedar. It's actually not a cedar, it's a juniper - Juniperus virginiana.

    Siding and shingles and probably your boards are made of Western Red Cedar, a different species, Thuja plicata. It's not a true cedar, either, but'll last longer than you will, and like a good wife it's light and stable.

    There won't be a toxicity problem with cedar boards. Western Red Cedar doesn't give off the fumes that Eastern Cedar does. Besides, boards don't have nearly as much surface area as shavings do.
  6. wood&feathers

    wood&feathers Songster

    Dec 22, 2009
    E. KY
    Can you set the brooder out in the weather a few days? Oxidizing the surface of the wood with exposure to sun and rain should leach some of the surface oils out and "air things out".

    Western cedar is more uniform in color, and generally a faded brick red color. Eastern red "cedar" is actually a juniper. It is a brighter, rosy pink, usually with lots of white swirls from the sapwood.
  7. ErieSpurs

    ErieSpurs Chirping

    Oct 5, 2009
    Elyria, OH
    Many birdhouses are made out of cedar. It's fine, and will keep the odor down.
  8. jaboo81

    jaboo81 Songster

    Dec 9, 2009
    New Braunfels TX
    My whole barn is made of cedar and tin. Birds have been in there for 3 years. Like they say; just dont use the shavings they will be fine!
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  9. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    True cedar is a softwood. All softwoods irregardless of species give off volatile oils that can cause harm. Strong fumes of any kind do have the potential for health problems though. It really depends on ventiliation. You could make a whole barn out of cedar and have it be fine because of the large space and the amount of fumes that go off in to the atmosphere. Or you could put a tiny bit of cedar in a small area with little air movement and kill everything. It all depends on ventilation.
  10. rarebreedeggs4u

    rarebreedeggs4u Songster

    Sep 27, 2009
    Morrow, AR
    Just to be on the safe side, could you give it a couple of coats of a good sealant/waterproofer?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by