Cedar...no cedar anymore, any ill effects on my ladies

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Roy, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. Roy

    Roy Songster

    Jun 20, 2007
    Central Illinois
    I've been raising chickens for about three years now. Until today, I have always used Cedar Shavings (that bags that you buy at the store) for the flooring in my chicken house. Thinking that cedar would keep down the mice, Mites and such. My new chicks 15 ( four weeks old) arrived this week so I decided to verify that cedar was ok to use for chicks but found that it is on the list of things not to use. As of today, my young ladies (chicks) will have pine shavings. He's my question. After three years of my older ladies being in a cedar enviroment, does anyone see any ill effects because of my ignorance to this. Will also being changing from cedar to pine in chicken house very soon. Had to get rid of my rooster, he was as mean as a rattlesnake. By the way, my name is Roy and I love this forum!!
  2. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    In larger areas the effects of the volatile oils in cedar shavings will not be immediately apparent. It does though cause damage to the respiratory tract so the animals are more susceptible to respiratory infections. It will also have effects on the liver and may allow other toxins to poison the animal faster. Another thing to keep in mind is the humans working around the animals are more likely to develop asthma. In more confined spaces such as a small animal cage or brooder the effects of phenols is more acute. The animals will usually develop respiratory infections within a week or 2 and liver damage can be severe enough to cause death without exposure to other toxins.

    Pine shavings also give off the same oils as cedar just in a slightly smaller amount. It's recommended for small animal cages to use only kiln dried pine shavings or air out the pine shavings in plastic storage tubs for 2weeks before using them. In a coop or stall the oils aren't as concentrated but personally I still get kiln dried whenever possible or even better try to find softwood shavings that say spruce on them. Spruce works just as well as pine but contains hardly any phenols compared to cedar and pine and even fresh not kiln dried spruce barely has a smell.
  3. goddesses

    goddesses In the Brooder

    Jul 3, 2008
    i've had pine shavings in a large pile sitting out of doors for over a year - should they be safe to use for full grown girls? Never gave it any thought until this question.

    I always use "store bought" pine shavings for the babies.

    Thanks to all

    Mother GOddess

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