Cedar chips?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jubylives, Oct 25, 2007.

  1. jubylives

    jubylives Songster

    Mar 23, 2007
    Central Iowa
    I've been using straw for the coop but since I have to drive 30 miles to get it I decided to go with wood chips. I just read in another post that cedar chips are toxic. I've been throwing a handful or two in the coop every couple of days for months now when it gets a tad smelly and have had to signs of problems. Are they really toxic to chickens?

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2007
  2. Smoky73

    Smoky73 Lyon Master

    Feb 8, 2007
    I know people who use them with no problems, but most people use Pine Shavings not cedar. You could use Pine shavings with a bit of cedar mixed in. I have mixed 2 bags pine with 1 bag cedar and that has worked out well and no effects.
  3. pipermark

    pipermark Songster

    Jan 26, 2007
    I have been using cedar chips for years without problems. The problem comes from the oil thats in the cedar dust. This "fears" come from research that was conducted on people working in mills where cedar is cut or pulped. There is, of course, a constant "dust" in the air, and prolonged __________ was proven to cause respiratory problems in humans.

    The same studies show the pine dust creates the same health hazards (pine has oil in it as well).

    In fact , studies on bedding material for swine and poultry pick peanut shells as the best bedding material (no health discernible health hazards and very good absorption rate).

    I have never found peanut shells.

    If you purchase cedar and or pine for bedding, the manufactures remove much of the dust. If your coop is well ventilated, it is my personal belief after reading the research, that cedar's insect repelling qualities make it my choice of bedding material.

    This is just one persons opinion and I am insane so do with it as you will.
  4. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster


    That is partially true. However birds in general have very sensitive lungs and it's the "cedar fumes" aka "volatile oils" that can also cause problems.

    In general- adding handfulls to other bedding is fine. Good air circulation is a must (wether you use cedar or not). If it were me, I'd be using pine shavings and if you must, use handfuls of cedar here and there.

    Last edited: Oct 25, 2007
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Sandra, that's exactly what I do when I remember to buy the cedar. It helps and doesn't seem to cause any problems. My coop is very well ventilated, as well.
  6. Iluvmychickens

    Iluvmychickens Songster

    Jun 27, 2007
    Jacksonville, Florida
    So do I need to take the Cedar out? I am freaking out and scared to death I am going to harm my chickens

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: