Red cedar bedding?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by jakobejukon, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. jakobejukon

    jakobejukon New Egg

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    Apr 22, 2016
    Now I have googled and all the posts I find are from like 2010 or older and a lot can change in 6 years. I currently just put my 2 week old chick on cedar bedding she is a single chick and this is my first time. I wil post pictures of what I got please let me know safe or unsafe and what I should do
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  2. Ardj

    Ardj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Many people saying that it doesn't matter what kind of shavings to use in the coop. But I always find someone that will say this - DON'T use cedar shavings, no matter what friends or your local feed store tell you: the aromatic oils will irritate your birds' lungs, and make them more susceptible to respiratory problems later in life.

    But there is another thing with the aromatic oils for sure - they repel insects, because they smell so strong.
    So there you go , it is up to you.
     
  3. jakobejukon

    jakobejukon New Egg

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    Apr 22, 2016

    Well I'm just concerned about my chickens health as she's going to be a pet chicken. Like I said I know things can change and products alter over a couple years so I just wanted to check if they're still dangerous
     
  4. Ardj

    Ardj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The shavings are not a bad product , and they will never change because its cedar wood. Cedar wood will smell the same forever,it has the oils in it. Like pine will stay pine and smell like pine no matter what. So it doesn't matter if you buy it now or you have shavings from 5 years ago - cedar is cedar , will always smell strong.
     
  5. ccrow

    ccrow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I saw a post on here a couple of weeks ago where someone said they use a small amount of cedar mixed with pine shavings, for the insect repellent benefits, and they hadn't had problems with it.
     
  6. Ardj

    Ardj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Exactly. It depends from people. But I had an experience with cedar shavings, I was putting them in my bunny cage, and he was sneezing constantly. So now I have pine shavings and he is still sneezing ... Go figure [​IMG]
     
  7. mktxsis

    mktxsis New Egg

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    The aromatic oils DO off-gas to some degree, so the older it is, the less likely it is to cause problems. Here's the research take on it. If your birds get a cold, don't blame the virus, blame the cedar for weakening their immune systems. Shavings are the worst, as they are off-gassing all at once on all surfaces and will be way too strong. If they've been in bags then the gasses have not been allowed to escape. The lumber off-gasses much slower, so a coop made from lumber should be okay.

    Can Cedar bedding harm chickens?
    Dr. Richard Evans, a veterinary pathologist who is also associated with the Orange County (CA) Department of Public Health, responded to this question by discussing laboratory findings and practical experience in the use of cedar shavings as has been found by study and anecdotal evidence involving rodents, cage birds and poultry.
    Dr. Evans states that the extracts of cedar and other soft woods, such as pine, contain a number of aromatic (volatile) compounds including hydrocarbons, cedrene and cadrol. Naphthalene (the active ingredient in moth balls) is also a member but is a distinct compound.
    These compounds are known irritants of skin, and cause not only irritation, but the degeneration and death of the cells in the respiratory tract. Once this destruction is set in motion, the animals' defensive barrier is eroded, enabling infection by various microorganisms and secondary microbial infections of the lungs. The medical literature notes increased rates of respiratory infections found in poultry which is raised with cedar shavings in the poultry house. Owners of caged birds have noted similar infection rates, particularly in poorly ventilated areas.
    In addition to the skin irritation and respiratory tract damage, these compounds activate enzymes in the liver which results in abnormal metabolism of certain drugs, something especially critical for animals undergoing antibiotic therapy or surgery.
    Dr. Evans notes that there is also some evidence to indicate that reproductive rates may be affected, and cancers promoted, through prolonged contact with these compounds. And, as with any other chemical or disease condition, the very young and very old are especially at risk.
    Symptoms of irritation include clear to discolored fluids discharged from eyes and nose (which may be mistaken for a regular microbial respiratory infection), sneezing, coughing, constant blinking or other signs of light sensitivity, irregular breathing (dyspnea) and possibly regurgitation. In severe cases, the animal may fall unconscious with or without convulsions. Secondary bacterial, viral and fungal infections are all the more likely to attack once the cells of the respiratory system are damaged and destroyed.

    Taken from anapsid-dot-org/cedar.html; the site is geared toward reptiles, but the research was on rodents and birds, and they were extending it to caution for reptiles. (replace -dot- with an actual DOT to go to the website, but I took a direct quote and pasted it here for you)
     

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