Pine and Cedar shavings are dangerous

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by woofwoofchick, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. woofwoofchick

    woofwoofchick Just Hatched

    Apr 20, 2012
    I've been doing some research on using pine or cedar shavings and from what I've learned, both are very harmful to pets. They are toxic... and can cause respiratory problems for all types of animals. It's sold in bales at all pet stores and farm stores and when I asked why they sell it if it's so harmful the answer was the same reason the sell cigarrettes and other crap that isn't good. Its cheap and it sells. I've been told by reputable and educated sources that using Aspen bedding is best in place of hay if you don't want to use hay. Toxins from pine can even be absorbed into the animals body through thier skin touching it.
    Just wanted to put this info out there if anyone is interested in investigating this on their own. I for one am not taking any chances and will be using only hay and Aspen shavings.
    3 people like this.
  2. Christie Rhae

    Christie Rhae Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2010
    Big Island, Hawaii
    I have heard cedar gives off fumes and is not good for chickens for bedding. I have used pine shavings for yearrs with no problems at all.
    3 people like this.
  3. PoultryGirly

    PoultryGirly Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 28, 2012
    I've only heard about the cedar chip shavings. They're the ones that give off toxins.
  4. SleepyOwl

    SleepyOwl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2012
    I have also read about the pine being harmful, especially with chicks. I am going to avoid them at least until my birds are big enough to be roosting in the coop.
  5. tmfineg

    tmfineg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2012
    Gallatin TN
    We just built a new chicken coop and put a thick layer of pine shavings on the floor. Our rooster began to wheeze soon thereafter. This went on for almost 2 months. A friend of mine is an anesthesiolgist. He suggested it was an allergin. The only thing I could think of was the shavings. We have removed them and he is getting better. Now I read this. I guess pine is out!!
    1 person likes this.
  6. Madhen80

    Madhen80 Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 18, 2012
    Northwest Ohio
    I have never heard of pine being toxic, only cedar. But, line shavings can have very fine particals that if inhaled, i'm sure could cause respirator issues. I have used them for years with lots of different critters, though I have at times mister them slightly with water to cut down on the dust. I have no scientific evidence that this is helpful, but its worked for me. And yes, aspen is a great bedding but very costly.
    1 person likes this.
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Pine is fine if it's dry, as in packaged kiln dried shavings. Have used it for over 6 years with no issues. It's aromatic cedar that can cause issues. ANY shavings that are super dusty can be a problem.
    1 person likes this.
  8. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2009
    Goshen, OH
    I use pine shavings for the adults, no issues. Baby ducks get old towels with their water over wire, baby chicks get sand. Super easy to sift sand in the brooder compared to mucking out the whole mess of shavings.

    Cedar is terrible for birds, since fowl are very sensitive to air quality. But it's just as bad for rodents and young animals.

    With how sensitive birds are, anything dusty is bad. Old dusty hay is bad, unsifted/untreated construction sand is bad with how dusty it can get. You want the least dusty thing you can get, such as flake pine shavings instead of the dustier fine type.

    Ammonia build-up in a poor ventilated coop will kill them too, any kind of bad air can harm them, whether it's dust or something else. The more ventilation you have in your coop, the better. Just remember drafts are harmful too.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Adding that I even use pine shavings for chicks, after they have found the food and water and are all eating and drinking on the paper towels. I then put shavings in the brooder, which are warmer for them to sleep in. Never had one single issue from that.

    You always want to avoid any that are like sawdust, too fine. Use good kiln dried shavings of a decent flake size.
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
    4 people like this.
  10. rikithemonk

    rikithemonk Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 19, 2012
    Mont Dora Florida
    I think that its like anything else. It depends on how the animal is kept and the common sense of the owner. You have to remember that people don't think. They bury an animal neck deep in ceder shavings for weeks and they store that animal in a glass aquarium with very low airflow. Of course the animal will get sick. Imagine the fumes. Have you smelled ceder? However, If you have ceder in reasonable amounts in the open chicken run you will most likely be fine. Like everything else in life, it all comes down to common sense. Ceder has odors, gasses and oils. I see no problem using Ceder in an open out door environment in reasonable quantities. If you intend to keep your chickens in an enclosed coop filled with shavings, then cedar is a poor choice.
    1 person likes this.

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