Watch out for Cedar Shavings!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by nicandtroyintown, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. nicandtroyintown

    nicandtroyintown Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 5, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Hello Fellow Chicken Enthusiasts. My SO and I have just become part of the club with our first {very small} batch of Leghorn chicks.

    Our Raising Chickens book claimed that cedar shavings were fine to use as litter for our babies. Soon after getting them set up in a warm place with organic food, they began dying. One by one, they would shudder and convulse and pass. Sorry to be so graphic but I have to let everyone know that we think we lost ALL of them because we used CEDAR!

    I've learned it is dangerous for all small animals although I've read conflicting stories on this.

    Does anyone know anything else on this?

    FYI- we have a new batch of Barred Rocks that have become pullets(sans Cedar) and are just fantastic!![​IMG]
  2. EllyMae

    EllyMae Chillin' With My Peeps

    The only time I use cedar is when I change out the shavings in my dogs houses. I put a layer of cedar then regular wood shavings. Cedar helps repel fleas. I never use cedar with my chickens or rabbits.
  3. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I think you will find out in here that Cedar is Evil and 95% would never use it, it is the oil in the cedar that makes your young ones have respitory failure. most of us just find better alternitives.
    Sorry you lost the little ones, get more and join us, why buy a chicken raising book when you have us.

  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    In a well ventilated place, like a run, or with very very old aged cedar that you can't smell, often people get away with cedar. But in brooders, enclosed coops, or fresh shavings that may not be fully dried or really old, it can damage the linings of the lungs of small animals.

    Sorry for your loss. I too do not use cedar as bedding. Some do put in a bit to repel bugs though.
  5. kpeavey

    kpeavey Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 2, 2009
    north Florida for now
    One of my hobbies is woodworking. I work with all sorts of different species. When the sawdust/shavings are clean, Joe the birdman will take it by the truckload. He has several aviaries the size of my house. I have to keep the stuff clean for his birds as different types of wood can harm the birds.

    Cedar. The aromatic resins are harmful.
    Walnut. Allellopathic properties.
    Cherry. I have no idea what the problem is but he can't use it.
    Pressure treated. way too much crap in there.
    previously stained/varnished/painted/treated is right out

    He has no problem with pine, hickory, walnut, pecan, oak, or sweetgum.

    Sorry for your loss. It's impossible to know all this stuff. Don't let it stop you.
  6. BeckyLa

    BeckyLa Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2007
    N. Louisiana
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I'm so sorry you lost all your babies, what a horrible way to get started in such a wonderful hobby. I do hope you will not give up but will get rid of the cedar and get more babies. [​IMG]
  7. jnjross

    jnjross Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 3, 2008
    edwards, ms
    check with your local library they may have several books on raising chicken that can help you with the basic do's and don't. raising chickens (wow i can't believe they got that wrong ), chickens in your backyard, and keeping chicken, are great starter books [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2009
  8. hoosier

    hoosier Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG] Welcome!

    Sorry you had such a rough start'
  9. nicandtroyintown

    nicandtroyintown Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 5, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks to you all for your support and wisdom! What a great group!

    I appreciate your encouragement and no,we're not done-- there are pics to to come and we have some lovely Barred Rocks that are quite happy with good old hay. We're not working w/cedar anymore.

    You guys rock..I'm grateful for all of you "peeps" out there!

  10. Just to let you know. I mistakingly used cedar shavings, but I must have gotten lucky. I only lost one baby to the shavings and the other ones did OK. I used plastic storage containers that one would buy from Big Lots, Dollar General or Wally World.

    There was PLENTY of ventillation and the chicks were in the house in the basement.

    I use small animal pine shavings now. I do not even use the horse pine shavings except in the big chickens pens. I use straw also now.

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