Chicken Mission

Cedar Shavings…Toxic or Terrific?

Last week, I wrote about my toxic cedar shaving scare with the Hogwarts’ Four.  I wanted to send out a quick addendum to that post.  The Texas A&M folks (and my county extension agent) were lighting fast in getting back with me and here’s their take on cedar shavings:

You are correct that the pine shavings will have better absorption than the cedar.  I don’t know of any research on the subject and have asked around and no one else has either. I have heard the same “rumor” there is concern about the fumes released by cedar shavings being toxic, especially to young chicks in enclosed spaces, causing respiratory issues.  Again I haven’t seen any evidence of this in the literature.  Pine is generally used because it is cheaper.”

So I’m going to go out on a limb with this.  Unless your chickens are babies, or confined in an area with insufficient ventilation, it’s not the end of the world if cedar shavings are utilized.  As for me, they had me at “pine is cheaper.”

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