mixed shavings

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by missy5, May 19, 2011.

  1. missy5

    missy5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2010
    Hello all, hope someone can help. A neighbour just brought me a huge bag of mixed shavings. He said theres a bit of everything in it. Cherry, red, cedar, pine, etc. Can i use this in the coop for chickens and ducks or could there be something in there that could hurt them? Free is nice but not if it's going to hurt my birds. With all this ran i've been spending a fortune on shavings and it was nice of my neighbour to bring it. I won't use it with the ducklings but just woundering about the big birds.
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    There is some guidance against using the cedar chips. I might thank my neighbor but use them around plants or bushes for decorative mulch instead.
  3. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Cedar in quantity isn't great for their respiratory system, especially if your ventilation is marginal. A little bit of cedar in a lot of other things is unlikely to be a problem though. Personally, coming from a lifelong horse background, I'd be disinclined to use anything that might have pressure-treated or walnut shavings in -- and some people feel cherry shavings are also a concern, although I am still not clear on why -- but, that said, for CHICKENS and in small amounts, they're prolly not a big deal.

    The main deciding factor, IMHO, would be whether the shavings are usable-quality (not too big and wood-chippy, and not too much fine dust in them) and bone-dry enough not to mold. The higher the percentage of hardwood in the shavings, the more easily they can mold, either in the bag or in your coop. So they would bear a little closer monitoring than yer standard bagged pine shavings from the feedstore.

    See what you think, use some common sense, I'm sure you can figure out whether they're a reasonable bet or not [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  4. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I agree with Pat, we used shavings from our sawmill (Mixed) for years. My FIL did refuse to saw walnut unless his pile had been cleared and he could haul the walnut off afterward. I did have one dog who had eye infection after I used cedar but this was the only time I had a problem.
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I agree with the others- if there is no treated wood in there (toxic) use them if they don't smell too strongly of cedar.

    Some folks even use a handful of cedar shavings in the bottom of the nest boxes , under the regular shavings, to deter bugs. I haven't done this myself, though.

    Cedar is aromatic and not good for anyone (including us, IMO) to breathe.
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Another issue with the contents having so much hardwood is that it simply doesn't absorb as well as pine. Further, it takes quite a bit longer to decompose, which makes it great as mulch around plants, but less attractive on the garden for compost. FWIW.
  7. missy5

    missy5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 18, 2010
    Thank you everyone, i'm glad i asked. I've had it for days and didn't want to try it without all you pros, lol. Actualy the feed store i get everything from has been selling me cedar shavings from the begining. I didn't know. My poor ducks and chickens. I'm so glad you are all here. Now i want to go and yell at someone in the feed store for trying to hurt my birds, nasty people. lol I guess it's realy my responsability to know what i'm bying. They said thats what they sell to all of thier clients.
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:ask for pine- that's the best IMO

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