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Old 03-24-2019, 09:55 AM   #1
neprijatno
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Join Date: Jan 2019
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Question Is beech wood chippings substrate safe?

SORRY FOR SUCH A LONG POST, you could just answer the question in the tittle and I would be grateful, I'm just providing all the information.


I live in a county where I don't have access to aspen or something like carefresh/kaytee bedding. And everything advertised as wood shavings are either from soft wood or it doesn't say which wood. Needless to say I don't feel comfortable using any of those.
That is why I went to the reptile section and bought 3 bags of this beech wood chippings to use if for my hamster. I've been using this bedding for 2 months now(I've had him for two and a half months, first 2 weeks he was on a softwood bedding and as soon as I found out it is bad for him, I changed it). As far as I can see, he doesn't have any problems(even though I posted few days ago he had some redness behind his ear, I guess it was from stress because I was away for 3 days and my mom was just coming in when food and water needed to be changed, the redness is gone but either way I took him to the vet and the vet said it is a lot better now and I shouldn't be worried)
There are a lot of places that say that beech is safe because it is a hard wood but on this Hamster Hideout post it is listed as a toxic wood so now I'm not sure what to do. Only other option I could use as a substrate is shredded tissues(he has tissues already in his hiding spots put in a week and a half I'll be able to buy paper shredder so I can provide him with a lot more tissues all over the tank he's in).
by the way, I'm from Serbia and I'd be very happy if anyone else is as well and also knows where I can find 100% safe bedding.
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Old 03-25-2019, 02:35 PM   #2
mangoandmimi
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Default Re: Is beech wood chippings substrate safe?

Wouldn't have thought there would be a problem with beech chippings but correct me if I'm wrong. The same list also states birch in general as unsafe which isn't exactly true. That aside though those chippings aren't really an ideal substrate, might be ok for a smaller section of the cage but not the whole thing as they don't look like they'll hold burrows at all. Can you get the Chipsi regular shavings? They are softwood but I believe a portion of it is spruce which is supposed to be safer for them (has less phenols). If there aren't any alternatives I wouldn't worry about it too much, so many people have used softwood shavings (kiln dried only) without issue and to be honest if you look hard enough you'll find all sorts of problems with just about anything!

Last edited by mangoandmimi; 03-25-2019 at 04:49 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old 03-25-2019, 07:50 PM   #3
alpacassei
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Default Re: Is beech wood chippings substrate safe?

I believe beech wood is safe but as Mangoandmimi said, it doesn’t hold burrows but you can still use it in part of the cage.

Viovet ship internationally and now sell Carefresh and Kaytee Clean and Cosy though I’m not sure how expensive their shipping is
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Old 03-26-2019, 12:45 AM   #4
neprijatno
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Default Re: Is beech wood chippings substrate safe?

Thank you both.
I have a section in his terrarium that is only tissue paper so my little one burrows there
Also, I contacted the biggest pet shop chain in my country to ask them if they could get Carefresh in their stores because I saw that they have it on their website for a country next to mine. They were kind enough to not only reply but say that they will of course put it in the stores here and contact me when they do so, it will just be the matter of time when they get it.
Iím calmer a little bit now, knowing that beech is probably okay and that some time in the future I will have something else to give him as substrate
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