Cedar ?

colonel sander

8 Years
Apr 25, 2011
Vancouver, WA
Ok so what exactly is the problem with cedar????? Is it the smell the oils ????? I am asking as my chicks are in the brooder in my garage. I am bringing home some cedar boards that are going on the outside of there coop and am wondering if the smell in the garage will bother them? I need to store the boards in the garage until I have a little time to put them on the coop.

Thanks in advance!
The aromatic oils in the cedar can cause respiratory problems in chickens and other small animals.

Ok so it is the smell. Well guess the boards do not get to sit in the garage. Or the chicks might have to find a new home......
Myself I would not stress about the boards, having a couple boards in a room where the chickens are and having them standing knee deep in a field of finely divided cedar shavings and dust are going to be many orders of magnitude different in terms of exposure. Even where cedar shaving have been used it is not a 100% certainty that it will be a significant problem for the chicks.
Using cedar boards is a problem at all and using them will give you a long lasting structure. The surface of the boards will have glazed and no longer outgas. The toxic fumes are substantially more apparent with shavings or sawdust and can injure the respiratory system.
As long as they're not in direct contact with the cedar you should be just fine! If you're going to use it for coop construction I'd suggest that you seal it and let it cure in the sun/heat atleast a week before they go anywhere near it! It doesn't take much for cedar to cause respiratory problems in animals!
Ok thanks for all the replys. I was just worried that the smell might get to them. As for the oards they are not going to be in contact with them on the coop as the walls are framed like a house. There are 2 layers of plywood between the inside and outside of the coop. Boards will go on the coop and be sealed once they dry out a little. These boards are fresh cut from a local mill and going to be used in a board and battan form. Thanks again!
I do believe that the problems arise with cedar shavings that the chicks walk in. For several decades my family used cedar limbs for roost and there never were
any respiratory problems with the flock. The outside of my coop is boarded with cedar fencing planks, then a thin sheet of foam insulation and then 3/8"
plywood. As the cedar ages there will be less odor coming off the wood, of course. I do not anticipate any problems.
As far as I have been able to tell, the problem is not with Cedar, it is with Redcedar which is a Juniper. When Europeans came to America they saw a tree the looked a lot like the Cedars they had back home. It was redish in color so they called it Redcedar. Once marketing depts. took over it really got confusing. The cedar shavings you buy in the store will most likely be Redcedar and not Cedar. Do not use this for bedding material. Personally I would not use it for bedding material for any animal, but that is just my opinion.

Eastern White Cedar has been used around here on farms for generations without any problems.

I would not have any problems using either Eastern or Western White Cedar around poultry/animals.

If someone can find a credible source that shows Cedar is harmful to poultry/animals I would love to know about it.
Oh well, thanks for the info, but I guess it's too late now..... I had a doz chix in a brooder made with some cedar boards and used cedar chips as bedding material. Lol!, I didn't know any better, but never had any problems and they all seemed fine then and fine now as they are getting closer to adult hood and they've been in the cedar free coop for a couple of months now.

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