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Should I return it to the store?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by bobzilla58, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. bobzilla58

    bobzilla58 Hatching

    Aug 4, 2010
    Hello all:

    My favorite supply outlet sold me a cube of cedar shavings for use in my chicken run. I use pine shavings inside my small coop with no problems and, if you do a side-by-side comparison of the two products, there doesn't appear to be a visible difference. The package says "perfect for all livestock" and "dried to remove moisture and bacteria." I have yet to open the package because I am hearing a lot of talk on this forum and elsewhere that cedar is toxic to chickens.

    My run is a 10'x10' chain link, open air arrangement with a poly-tarp roof kit installed. Currently the run is bare dirt and whatever grass the hens haven't dug up yet.

    Should I return this product even though my setup is open air and even though the product appears to have been dried to remove the oils/aromatics? The consensus of replies will determine whether I load it in the back of my truck and get a refund.

    Thanks all,

  2. PortageGirl

    PortageGirl Songster

    Nov 8, 2008
    Portage County, Ohio
    don't use it for chickens, being around cedar wood doesn't seem to bother chickens, though I wouldn't put chickens in a cedar closet either! [​IMG] ...it seems to be the cedar dust from shavings that irritates their respiratory system and causes serious problems for them. Definitely would NOT use it for them. If you haven't opened it, take it back.
  3. AinaWGSD

    AinaWGSD Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Sullivan, IL
    I would return it. It is not the dust but rather the phenols in cedar that are bad for chickens (and not so great for other small animals, or people for that matter). It will irritate their lungs and causes liver damage. Drying the wood does not remove or reduce the phenols. Animals with a larger respiratory system are better able to handle it, but given long enough exposure under the right circumstances it will cause damage to their lungs and liver as well. An outdoor run wouldn't be nearly as bad as if you were using it in a coop or brooder, but given that there is a lot of proof of the damaging effects of cedar on small animal systems I wouldn't risk it. Personally I can't even stand to be near it when a bag is opened as it irritates MY respiratory system! And I don't have to be exposed to it 24/7.
  4. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Crowing

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    I wouldn't worry about it since it's in an open run, but then I also wouldn't be putting wood shavings of any type in the run since they will only hold in moisture
  5. turtlebird

    turtlebird Songster

    Dec 11, 2009
    I would return it.
    Have you considered sand for your run?
  6. laughaha

    laughaha Songster

    May 5, 2010
    Take it back and get a few bales of HAY, not straw, HAY. Your chickens will have a blast scratching through the hay and eating all the seeds/weeds/etc. I use the cheapest hay I can find as it's the weediest/seediest. If you garden, change this out every month or so and use it for mulch in your garden or around trees or in compost it. As long as you don't wait for their to be as much poo as the hay, you can use this directly on your garden with no problems- I've been doing it for years.
  7. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    A friend of ours with 20 plus years of experience with poultry uses a handful or two of cedar shavings in his nestboxes under the pine shavings to deter mites. Other than that, I wouldn't use them for chickens.
  8. columbiacritter

    columbiacritter Songster

    Jun 7, 2008
    Scappoose Oregon
    What you use in your run depends HUGELY on where you live and the weather you have to contend with. Here in the Pacific NW there's maybe 2 months a year we could get away with using hay, every other month the moisture would rot it really fast. I don't even use it inside the coop since wet chickens bring in a lot of water in the wet months. Good straw lasts a heck of a lot long and allows the water to pass through and drain away. Wood shavings outside are also not reall affective. I use lots of sand and the occasional application to f pea gravel when I have the energy to haul it back to the chicken area.
  9. CCFarms9559

    CCFarms9559 Songster

    Jul 16, 2010
    Jeffersontown, Ky
    I use pine shavings & cedar. I throw in a few scoops of cedar when I change my shavings and mix it all in. Keeps the smell and bugs down.

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