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Cedar poisoning, symptoms?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Godiva, Dec 8, 2008.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have heard that cedar is no good for chickens. Well, I have been racking my brains as to what caused some strange symptoms in my RIR cockerels (that I ended up culling) and I just had a thought that maybe it was something related to cedar. THe coop is a pole barn type and we made the poles out of cedar trees. I just noticed that the cedar posts have been stripped of all the bark by the chickens! [​IMG] and I was wondering what the symptoms of cedar exposure would be?
     
  2. jhm47

    jhm47 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The biggest problem with cedar is that the shavings give off an odor or "gas" that is very irritating to the respiratory system. Over time, the birds will have lung trouble, and begin to gasp for breath. That was my experience years ago. The same symptoms can happen with a lot of ammonia buildup in the coop, due to a lot of decomposing poo.
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yeah, rather than poison as in like antifreeze, it more of degrades the linings of the lungs, making them more susceptible to infections and respiratory issues. If you just have cedar poles or walls, don't worry about it, the surface area for phenols to get out is not going to be that bad vs shavings. Some even get away no problem with shavings if their coops are highly ventilated or the cedar is so old the irritants have all escaped.
     
  4. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Godiva, there are A LOT of respiratory problems birds can suffer from; cedar is only one of the irritants.

    What were your roo's symptoms?
     
  5. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, Jenski, it wasn't respiratory in nature. Only the roos in that section of the coop got whatever it was. They all got neurological syptoms, staggering, poor balance, droopy tails, shivering and very weak. I kept them apart for about a month and they never really got better. It could not have been infectious because they were in contact with a bunch of other chickens and no-one else in the rather well popluted coop ever showed signs of the same thing. THe pullets with them, same hatch, were fine and I still have them. I thought that maybe it was because they ate all the bark off the cedar pole in their section of the but I see that all the poles are 'cleaned' in the other areas too and no issues like they had. Just the mystery ailment.... cannot figure out what they had.
     
  6. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sounds like botulism to me. Could he have had access to rotting or decaying matter? What about moldy feedstuff?
     
  7. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I think so. There was some moldy old hay in one section of the run that I had no idea could have been bad for them. What are the signs of botulism? Is there any treatment? I wonder why only the roos were affected and not the other birds with them in the same areas... maybe just chance that they got into something that no-one else did.
     

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