Cedar Shavings Can Be TOXIC for Chicks!

676 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 6 Pin It Share 670 LinkedIn 0 676 Flares ×



Cedar Shavings can be Toxic to Chickens

Good afternoon!!  Yesterday I reviewed the comments on my posts and a few people were saying not to use cedar shavings. What’s wrong with cedar I thought? Well, after doing some research it turns out that cedar shavings can be toxic for chicks!!!  And, even worse, they don’t even have to eat the the shavings or breathe the oil’s fumes for it to hurt them. The oil from cedar  can be absorbed through the feet of the chicks.  The oil fumes can also cause respiratory problems and digestive track problems. The safest thing to use is pine shavings which do not have toxic oils. But for the first few days you need to use paper towels.   I wanted to be sure everyone knows not to use cedar for their chicks!

McMurray Hatchery states:

LITTER: Wood shavings, rice hulls, or ground cobs make good litter. Do not use cedar chips, sawdust (It is too small and the birds may eat it instead of their food), or treated wood chips. Sand, straw, or dirt will also work but are not as good as the others. Put the litter all over the floor at least 1 inch thick. Keep it covered for the first day with newspapers to keep the chicks from eating the litter instead of the feed. To avoid possible leg problems, remove the papers after the first day for heavy breeds and meat birds and after the third day for lighter breeds.

Thank you to all who commented for me to change the shavings!  You guys really helped me out and maybe even saved my chicks’ lives!  You all have been a blessing!  

See Ya’ Soon!

About Gage

Gage is a 13 year old homeschooled tween living on Live and Learn Farm. He writes about his interests, hobbies, and homeschool. He is in the 8th grade and is taking: Algebra II (VideoText Algebra), Physical Science (VHSG/ Apologia), Exercises in English and Vocabulary in Action (Loyola Press), All About Spelling, SWI-B (IEW), Paths of Exploration.


  1. Aunt Neal says:

    Thanks for letting me know….I was planning on making a chicken coop and covering the ground with cedar shavings so they would not be in the mud…guess I am going to have to do some research now…

  2. I had to ask this question not too long ago on Fresh Eggs Daily. So glad to have it confirmed here! I have a couple of questions that you may be able to help with. 1. Is it just *chicks* that can’t have cedar? Can full grown chickens? and 2. Can I then take their the pine shavings out (after they have been used) and put it directly in the compost bin? We’ve changed ours twice now (we have six chicks- how often are supposed to be changing it??) and haven’t put it in the compost bin, but that is what I want to do. Thanks Gage! You are a good source of info!

    • Miss Amber I think adults can’t have it too. I am not 100% sure but I am pretty sure. And you can move the pine directly to the compost but it has to sit there for around half a year. These have been good questions, I had too look it up in a book or the internet. the books I use are… The encyclopedia of country living and Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens. Thanks for the complement and for posting!

Let's discuss.... comment and share your thoughts!

676 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Google+ 6 Pin It Share 670 LinkedIn 0 676 Flares ×
%d bloggers like this: