Pine toxicity?!

Birdpants

Chirping
Jul 17, 2020
45
35
51
San Francisco CA
I’m researching coop bedding for my first batch of chickies, coming in April, and was shocked to come across...this?!

https://www.thefeatherbrain.com/blog/toxic-chicken-coop-pine-shavings

I’d never heard pine could be toxic, but this seems very thoroughly researched. I’m putting it out there not to argue for or against it (I just now discovered it, and I don’t even have chickens yet, so I’m not in a position to take a stand), but rather just to share new information with anyone here who, like me, is trying to learn about bedding.
 

cavemanrich

Addict
6 Years
Apr 6, 2014
15,935
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Melrose Park Illinois
If you are concerned with pine shavings, then avoid them. I have been using hay bedding in my coop for over 20 years. I'm sure if someone really studied the compounds in hay, they may find trace amounts of toxins in there as well.
You are from California, so peeps from there are informed with California research guidelines.
Every time I pick up an item at home-center, or hardware store, for my home use, there is a warning on it. It generally states that in the state of California, this product causes this , or that, or something else. Not sure why it is allowed to be sold in the rest of the states. :idunno
I read thru most of the article you linked. He favors sand. I can find many articles that say the silica in sand is dangerous. (BTW I do use sand in my run) Then there is at the end a comment by a respondent, about using DE. He does not comment about the DE, even though it is stated on each box you buy, of the potential dangers.

I think there are dangerous compounds in our world around us everywhere. It is the amount of these that enter a living being that matter. Very many medicines rely on toxic properties to kill whatever is ailing the body. Excessive amounts of medicines are detrimental to good health. That includes Over the Counter meds.

WISHING YOU BEST,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,and:welcome
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
13,909
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WA, Pac NW
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Lots of people use pine without issue. If the idea makes you nervous but you still want a wood shaving product for litter, aspen is an option.

I myself do not use pine shavings, but that's because they don't compost well for me. My coop bedding is aged wood chips, including cedar, and chopped hemp under the roost for easier sifting of poop for composting. I do use aspen shavings for the nest box however my main reason for choosing that is because it's larger flake so the chickens are less likely to eat it.
 

Acre4Me

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Nov 12, 2017
5,585
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Western Ohio
Pine shavings are ok. Like mentioned previously, you can choose another material if you don’t want pine.

regarding other toxic materials in our world: there are many. Even water. Drink too much in a shirt period of time and you can die!! But, we drink water in moderation and it is life sustaining. basically, you can find toxicity anywhere. AND a study that “proves” it.

lots of bedding materials. There are some BYC folks that use coffe grounds as bedding. Do the chickens eat the coffee grounds, and is it a problem long term? No idea! Some people use shredded paper. Is the ink a problem? No idea! But, it is well known that using cedar bedding IS a problem with birds- it CAN cause respiratory issues in birds, so that is one bedding material that is consistently mentioned to avoid due to the aromatic oils present in cedar, which causes the issue.

good luck!
 

3KillerBs

Crossing the Road
11 Years
Jul 10, 2009
4,190
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North Carolina Sandhills
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A lot of these "_____ is Toxic! Use _____," things are done by people who have a vested interest in selling you the alternative.

Pine shavings, sawdust, and wood chip bedding have been used as animal bedding for pretty much every kind of livestock people keep for decades. If it was *actually* killing valuable livestock it wouldn't be sold at all because the sellers would have been sued out of existence.

Bad ventilation is the far more likely culprit for chicken respiratory issues regardless of the bedding used.
 

Birdpants

Chirping
Jul 17, 2020
45
35
51
San Francisco CA
Wow, thanks everyone for the thoughtful responses. I really do appreciate the reminders that it’s possible to find danger lurking everywhere if that’s what you’re looking for. Meanwhile I’ve also just read about rice hulls for bedding. Holy cow, who knew there were so many bedding options! 😳 This chicken business is a steep learning curve...and a stay-up-all-night-reading-about-chickens rabbit hole...or, chicken hole? Ew.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
13,909
26,401
982
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Holy cow, who knew there were so many bedding options! 😳 This chicken business is a steep learning curve...and a stay-up-all-night-reading-about-chickens rabbit hole...or, chicken hole? Ew.

There's a lot of options because what works well for one keeper or one set up, may not work well for another. Expect to do some trial and error to figure out what works for you. I'm closing in on 5 years now and still keep fiddling with litter options to try and get it as low maintenance, compostable, and cost efficient as possible.
 

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