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Old 02-18-2016, 06:39 AM   #1
SugarFairy123
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Question Softwood Bedding

I have seen softwood being at my local petstore but I never bought it as I know its bad for them . I just don't know what it is and why is it bad for them ?? Like how is it different from regular wood shaving beddings that are safe ? Just curious...
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Old 02-18-2016, 06:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Softwood Bedding

Pine and Cedar are bad for them because of the dust that can cause eye problems and respiratory problems. However, Kiln dried aspen is 100% safe.
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Old 02-18-2016, 10:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: Softwood Bedding

Softwoods contain high levels of the phenols - most hardwoods (including aspen) are fine and don't have these phenols but most hardwoods don't make for good shavings (with the exception of Aspen). Spruce is supposed to be ok (a particular variety of fir tree) and has the same very low levels of phenols as Aspen hardwood. But almost all other softwoods have high levels of phenols that it is believed can cause various serious illnesses with hamsters, particularly respiratory illness and possibly some cancers. Cedar has the highest levels and is not recommended at all for hamster bedding. But Pine that has been kiln dried is supposed to be safer. In the Uk all pine shavings are kiln dried by law.

My own view on this is - although kiln dried pine is much safer than non kiln dried pine, there does not seem to be any specific regulation as to how long it is kiln dried or at what temperature or how much phenol remains. I just think it's easier to use something else. But no bedding/substrate is perfect. Some are dusty, wood pulp beddings have various chemical processes and so on. Organic hemp bedding is a good option. I go with the paper bedding.

When you smell that fresh pine smell - that is the phenols. I believe there is something else as well as phenols but not sure what.

There are so many good alternatives now (Fitch, Carefresh, Hemp, Aspen) that I prefer just not to use softwood shavings any more. Costwise Fitch (recycled paper) works out very cheap, but needs to be sent off for. Hemp in bulk isn't that expensive either, and neither is Aspen. Carefresh can work out a bit expensive maybe.

Some of the German wood shavings are made from Spruce, which is the 'ok' softwood, (or a mix of Spruce and kiln dried pine) but generally it doesn't seem to be available.
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Old 02-19-2016, 09:40 AM   #4
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Default Re: Softwood Bedding

Oh ok thanks
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Old 03-18-2018, 08:06 AM   #5
ArcherMylin Hamster Care
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Default Re: Softwood Bedding

Is it ok to add tiny amounts in a hamster cage?
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Old 03-19-2018, 05:02 AM   #6
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Default Re: Softwood Bedding

If it's kiln dried and dust extracted and not cedar then yes All pine shavings in the Uk are kiln dried by law and the same in Germany where the kiln drying regulations are more stringent. If you live in the US and it doesn't say kiln-dried on the packet then don't use it.
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Old 03-20-2018, 10:32 AM   #7
minijeva
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Default

its bad because they have harmfull oils which smell nice to us but not to hamsters. kiln dried pine is ok i belive but only by it if it specificly says kiln dried its not worth the risk

if you have to use ceder only use it if there are no other beddings avalible an fo a short period of time. i wold never use it though

Last edited by Fluffagrams; 03-20-2018 at 10:50 AM. Reason: Consecutive posts
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