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Cedar Chips

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bygalos, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. bygalos

    bygalos Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 22, 2014
    There is so much conflicting information out there about using cedar chips in chicken coop. I'd like to know from those of you who do use cedar chips your experience and whether you've had health issues with using cedar.

    Thanks
     
  2. Rod-T

    Rod-T Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use it..some say it's not good..
    Mine aren't pets.. likely culled every few years.anyway. I think it would take a long time to affect them.
     
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    Both cedar and pine chips have toxins that enter blood via the respiratory system. Cedar much more so. Both bedding material have been used for generations and are preferred due to low cost and that toxin carrying aroma that masks animal odor. Besides effecting the respiratory itself it enters the blood stream and enlarges the liver as it's the bodies filter.

    Size of animal is a factor to health, amount of ventilation and time per day on bedding are also variables. So a study on rat pups raised on cedar vs shredded corn cob resulting in over 50% mortality on cedar vs less than 1% on cob is only as relevant as the variables previously mentioned.

    I'd not brood chicks on cedar that's for sure. With pine shavings being the easiest to obtain and cheaper option in my region I'll never have hands on experience of older birds on cedar but would consider it as I have good ventilation and they only use the coop to roost at night.
     
  4. Rod-T

    Rod-T Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I get my cedar shavings free.. since I work with cedar in my woodshop. . So thats why I use it..
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. bygalos

    bygalos Out Of The Brooder

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    Using shavings here in the Pacific Northwest is not an option in the winter, so I use cedar chips. Chips don't absorb the daily rain which lasts for months, whereas shavings absorb the water and add to the mess of the mud.
    I get spanked all the time for using cedar chips by other chicken enthusiasts, but I've never had a problem with health issues. I do not use the chips in the coop itself, just in the run.
    Thanks for the replies.
     
  6. Rod-T

    Rod-T Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I cull my old chickens .long before the get health issues. . I guess if I had show chickens or pet chickens to keep for years I'd rethink it.. but for now I'm gonna use what I got. Just like you.
     
  7. JeanR

    JeanR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We live with so much misinformation. Have used Cedar shavings (commercially, well dried) in my poultry houses for nearly 30 years. I raise bantams and the houses are divided into nice sized pens for trios, plenty of room, roosts, window. Pens are always dry, shavings last for months without cleaning, if always kept DRY. Chicks are raised on paper until they start scratching them up, then on Pine shavings--and fed chick grit, as they do eat shavings! They go into pens with Cedar shavings, when pullets are about 4 months old and about ready to lay. My outside pens are grass, mowed short and kept green. NEVER out on rainy days, or until the dew is dried in summer. NEVER in mud. They scratch dusting holes along their outside pen fences. Grass is watered in summer to keep it green, mowed to keep it SHORT. Pens are shaded, but have open area for sunshine. Dirty outside pens--or birds out in rain or on mud, track it back in their inside pens, dirty eggs, wet bedding, asking for respiratory problems and loose poo, that makes dirty rears. Winter with frozen ground, birds can be out a few hours in sunshine, not in snow or frost. Windows in the houses are LOW, so winter sunshine fills their pens and can be opened. Hardware cloth over windows.keeps out mice and other varmints. Windows closed on winter zero temp days, but with sunshine, heats the houses comfortably for the birds, and they dust in the shavings, enjoying their space Their nest boxes are on.a shelf above the window of each pen. Above that is a roost shelf, with an old wooden grape box lined with plastic and a sprinkle of shavings, and roost board across, for the trio of bantams. (none get in the night roost poo, and the box can be dumped about once a month,) Warmest, up near the ceiling, during winter and with windows open in summer, gives ventilation during warmer nights. Check those bales of Cedar Shavings. They must be DRY, not dusty--and the poultry house never smells bad. The very nice aroma of freshly cleaned pens soon evaporates, but still hides the 'dirty chickenhouse smell that folks hate. Smell of wet straw and weekly cleaning is just not necessary, if you have a source of Cedar Shavings. A house with 30-50 breeders and chicks and youngsters doesn't have an unpleasant smell, even if they do not get outside for weeks in winter or a rainy week in Spring or summer! Large fowl? Deeper bedding and do not crowd them--floor or night roosts. Not a suitable management for all keepers of chickens, but might be useful for small flock breeders. .

    I keep my best breeding hens for as long as they live--have hens laying at 8-10 years and keep oldies, to 12-13 years.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2015
    1 person likes this.

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