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Cedar. Do we have a problem?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bawkbawkbawk, Apr 17, 2009.

  1. bawkbawkbawk

    bawkbawkbawk Chillin' With My Peeps

    There's a stained cedar fence next to where we're going to build our coop. My husband insists that the coop has to be constructed of cedar so that it will match. We live in a neighborhood with strict CC&R's regarding appearance and the coop will be visible to neighbors so it has to look nice.

    But what I'm hearing is that cedar is a big no-no, so I'll explain to DH that we want a chicken coop, not a chicken coffin - any suggestions on preferred type of wood for a coop would be appreciated.

    The coop and the proposed run will be only a few feet away from the fence made from cedar. Is that a problem? I foresee letting the chickens out of the run to free range under supervision so it's possible that they would come into even closer contact with the cedar fence.

    If I tell DH we have to lose the cedar fence, I'm worried I may lose my chicken dream...[​IMG]
     
  2. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    Cedar will off gas, but with ventilation it should be fine. It's not like cedar chips where the surface area off gassing is absurdly huge.

    You might want to pick up some cheap luan (1/4" ply) or, even better, some flat tile board [shower board] and line the inside walls.. The tile board will make wall cleanup absurdly easy.. and give an air space to channel any gasses from the walls upwards.

    Really though, it'll be fine.. And for that matter look good too.. Just be sure and say "why, for the safety of the birds [and ease of me cleaning coop walls] we MUST put tile board around the inside walls!" [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  3. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    cedar is fine for building! My entire run (not my coop, though) is built from cedar because I didn't want to use pressure-treated wood because it leaches bad chemicals into the soil which is then eaten by the birds with their grit and in the grass that grow near the run.

    The problem with cedar is really only with the shavings... it's not good for them to breathe the dust or eat the shavings because of the naturally occurring oils in the wood.

    If you want to build your coop from cedar, I say go for it... perhaps you could line the inside of the coop with plywood or something (that's what we have lining ours) so that they aren't closed inside with the smell from the cedar? Just thinking out loud...
     
  4. lisahaschickens

    lisahaschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Vancouver, WA
    looks like I didn't read DarkWolf's reply before I wrote mine... sorry to repeat what he already said. I'm glad we agree, though [​IMG]
     
  5. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Cedar lumber is fine for your coop. It's only cedar chips for bedding, that may be a potential problem. The phenol aromatics in cedar (and sometime pine) can cause respritory problems in chickens (and most other animals). The surface area of lumber boards is not enough to cause problems vs. the chips, or shavings.
     
  6. azelgin

    azelgin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 18, 2008
    S.E. AZ
    Looks like everybody hit the submit button at the same time.[​IMG]
     
  7. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Either paint the inside with a good oil paint to seal it well, or keep the coop very well ventilated.
     
  8. Butterball

    Butterball Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 29, 2008
    If you're really concerned about building with cedar, build with pine, etc. and stain the outside (make sure it has time to air out before putting chickens in.)[​IMG]
     
  9. DarkWolf

    DarkWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 11, 2008
    Murray Kentucky
    Quote:Modern pressure treated woods use a copper based preservative as apposed to the old arsenic based. It's much much safer and does not leach anything highly toxic into the soil... BUT.. That said... Cedar will outlast it... [​IMG]

    lol... Seems like everyone hit on the same topics... It's all good... And surface area... Chips, you can have several hundred thousand square feet of air exposed surface area in a small space for the cedar to off gas from.

    Anyway... answer's are all above.. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2009
  10. valentinebaby

    valentinebaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 23, 2009
    Sherman-Denison, TX
    I am close to completing a very nice cedar coop for my young girls, complete with etched and stained glass for windows...however, the cedar was put up on the outside over OSB board, so they don't have direct contact with it. Since it's raised approximately 20 inches from the ground, that too keeps them away from it. In building this, I discovered that new pine wood (2x4 studs, etc.) is coated with formaldehyde and I've developed a HUGE allergic reaction to it, so beware of new wood!

    I built with cedar because my husband and I spend a lot of time in our backyard and I didn't want an eyesore, plus I had access to leftover cedar siding from a renovation project and was able to use it on the 3 visible sides and all stained with Behr's redwood stain - gorgeous!!! (used older cedar on backside). Once I get it done, I'll post pics on my page here. Now for the run...

    Good luck!

    Gail
     

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