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Old 07-05-2019, 02:53 AM   #1
Jolin
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Question Spruce bedding?

Hello! I was just wondering if spruce bedding is safe and/or suitable for hamsters. Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:29 AM   #2
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Default Re: Spruce bedding?

Spruce is absolutely fine! It has about the same level of phenols as hardwood, which is a safe wood (ie pretty negligible). Unlike other pines such as fir and cedar wood which have high levels of phenols which are harmful (many people feel that kiln dried pine is safe, as that removes some of the phenols, but opinions vary and it depends how regulated the kiln drying is).

Not sure which country you're in, but in the Uk and Germany all pine shavings are kiln dried by law and the regulation for kiln drying is high in Germany.

The only substrate I know of that contains Spruce wood (as opposed to pine) are the Chipsi Classic, or Tierwohl shavings, made in Germany. However these contain kiln dried pine as well as Spruce and it doesn't say what proportion of each, so I personally consider them as "better versions" of kiln dried pine shavings.

The other thing to consider is - some hamsters can actually have any allergy - to certain woods - whether it is hardwood (safe) or softwood (only safe if kiln dried). Cedar is never safe. But if your hamster seems fine with wood shavings that shouldn't be an issue.

All wood shavings need to be dust extracted also as the dust from wood can also be harmful (it should say on the packet if they are dust extracted).

There are a number of options for paper based substrates in most countries also, or hemp bedding (I am actually allergic to hemp bedding so use paper!)

The analysis of phenols in spruce wood (as being virtually a hardwood) are in the article below

Alert! - As well as statistical analysis of phenols in various woods, this article does contain some details of experiments on mice which may upset some people - you don't have to read all of it though - the statistics are inset further down the page.

AFRMA - The Problem With Pine: A Discussion of Softwood Beddings

Which country are you in?
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Old 07-05-2019, 05:08 AM   #3
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Default Re: Spruce bedding?

I'm from Sweden, and one of the most affordable beddings is Chipsi, then I read that it was made of spruce and that was why I wondered if it was safe. As for paper based beddings, we only have Carefresh and my parents think that it's really expensive and I pay for it myself. I don't have a lot of money so that's why I'd like an alternative.

The beddings I have to choose from always say that the dust is very minimal but when you open them they have a bunch of dust anyway, so, if you have used Chipsi, is that fine?

Thanks!
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Old 07-05-2019, 06:31 AM   #4
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Default Re: Spruce bedding?

Chipsi is part Spruce and is fine! However make sure it's not a scented version. They do make scented versions as well and scented isn't good. Yes I know they can have dust even when they say they're dust extracted. You could sieve it I guess. But I tended to find that most dust stayed at the bottom of the back. Sieving it may be a bit overkill but you could give the bit you're going to use a good shake through some kind of sieve type object possibly? If it seems dusty. A lot of beddings do have some dust.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: Spruce bedding?

Great!

By the way, how can you tell if a hamster is allergic?

I was also wondering if cutter shavings are safe. (The translation could be wrong, not sure.)
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Old 07-05-2019, 01:08 PM   #6
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Default Re: Spruce bedding?

I don't know what cutter shavings are For that reason I would stick with Chipsi Do you have a link?

If a hamster has a bedding allergy you would suspect it, as they may have sore skin and scratch a lot and also have respiratory issues or sneezes. A bit like humans.
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Old 07-07-2019, 12:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: Spruce bedding?

The only links I have are for swedish websites, so, yeah. I'm assuming you are not from any scandinavian countries.

Ok, thanks! In that case I don't think my hammies are allergic. If you have used it, is Chipsi good for burrowing?
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