Is Cedar ok to use for bedding?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by wonderpup, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. wonderpup

    wonderpup Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 3, 2011
    NW Florida
    I got a surprise today, in the form of 18 baby chicks. My mother in law called furious that we had not purchased her chickens yet and would not accept that it was not really the right time of year and they would have to be ordered. The feedstore had a few older chickens but no telling if they were boy or girl. Anyway she called last night and INSISTED that we go back today and get her two of them. So we did and viola, baby chicks just arrived in stock, and from the hatchery we were thinking of ordering from so viola. 12 of them are headed to the in laws and 6 are staying with us for the time being. We may only keep 4 but I wanted to raise 6 just in case.

    So we have a large guinea pig cage left over that my husband cleaned and we had some cedar shavings that a relative bought not realizing I didn't use cedar in my small animal cages. So is Cedar OK for chicks? Will the smell bother them like it bothers some other animals? It's all we have right at the moment but I can run out and buy aspen or pine or whatever if I need to.

    ... guess hubby better get a start on that chicken coop [​IMG]
     
  2. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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  3. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    Ranchhand is right, you need pine shavings or you could use paper towles in a pinch. Good luck with that MIL!! [​IMG]
     
  4. bledsoe95

    bledsoe95 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2011
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    I order chicks every year and i use cedar chips & it aint killed any of my chicks yet.
     
  5. pontoosuc

    pontoosuc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Richmond, MA
    the cedar might not kill the chicks but it could compromise their lung development. active word "could".

    personally, I wouldn't take a chance considering you can easily get pine shavings.

    lot's of fun.
     
  6. NottinghamChicks

    NottinghamChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    My girlfriend dropped her 8 chicks off for me to chick sit for her for four days. When she came in I was overtaken by the cedar smell. She said she wanted me to keep them in the house so she wanted it to smell nice. By the next morning three were sick, so I immediately removed them from their tub and washed it out and added pine shavings and put them back in. Within 3 hours one of her silkies was dead but the other two pulled through. I don't think I would risk it as it can be overpowering to their tiny lungs, especially if in a confined space.

    It was an unnecessary death and it is best to research things before you attempt it. Kudos to you for asking [​IMG]
     
  7. thechickenchick

    thechickenchick Born city, Living country

    Mar 8, 2008
    Eaton, Colorado
    Quote:Well I am glad it AINT YET, but consider yourself lucky. [​IMG]
     
  8. wonderpup

    wonderpup Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 3, 2011
    NW Florida
    Thanks so much for the quick replies [​IMG] Whew, lovin' this forum. I'll get them changed off the cedar this afternoon.

    Nope, never had had any kind of bird before. Actually I am afraid of birds for the most part but so far, for the last hour or so have enjoyed playing with the chicks. Thanks for the link. I've been reading up in my spare time but I am sure there are things I have missed.

    Right now they are in the guinea pig cage with a ceramic heating element that I use for warming whelping boxes for puppies hung above one end of the cage. Right now the temp is pushing 100 degrees, but all the chicks are clustered together on top of the thermometer my husband put in there [​IMG] I need to find the puppy thermometer and stick it to the side of the cage where they can't sit on it.
     
  9. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:You've been lucky then. BYC is very familiar with chick losses due to cedar shavings. It doesn't affect adult birds as much. How many years and how many batches of chicks, as well as what percentage of unexplained chick deaths?
    I know some do sucessfully use them, but the majority don't, preferring to use other shavings. I personally prefer the generic mixes over the pine, because the pine also has resinous aromatics.

    To the OP - I put down a thin layer of chips and 10 layers of paper towels on day 1. I remove 2 layers of paper towels per day, to clean out he brooder. By day 5 they are steady enough on their feet and know the difference between shavings and food that they're okay. Don't use newspaper, it's too slick. (and they get filthy!)
     
  10. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:Wrap the cage bottom/sides part way with cardboard or towels to prevent drafts. Maybe even part of the top. I usually start at 90F, though many recommend 95F. Look at the chicks - if they are huddled next to the heater they are a bit too cold, if they are as far away as possible, they are too hot. Drafts are a big problem, I use a big plastic storage container for brooding the first few weeks.
     

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