Pine wooden houses

sherryr

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Sep 5, 2017
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I bought some wooden houses to put inside of my chinchillas cage on Etsy and the person selling them is stating they are made out of natural (non toxic) pine wood. I asked if they are kiln dried and they are stating they are "natural drying". I let them know it has to be kiln dried or is toxic. They are insisting that they are non toxic. They are selling them online to a lot of people. Does anyone have any information on pine for wooden houses to put in cages for chinchillas? Can they be dried naturally versus kiln dried and not be toxic to them? The sellers name on etsy is SAKKNY. Thank you for any input.
 

Amethyst

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I'm not sure what one you got, but looking at one (the Rectangular Chinchilla Chalet) as an example of one it looks like it could be pine or fir? Fir is not considered by most people as safe for chinchillas, I think it has something to do with containing thicker sap or heavier oils that don't evaporate as well (making it more fragrant but also higher risk of inhaling toxic oil fumes). The pine is apparently imported so I can pretty much guarantee it's kiln dried, I highly doubt they would ship raw lumber it would get moldy and could contain bugs. Raw not heat treated pine would also ooze sap when warm. Pretty much any pine you buy as boards from a store are going to be kiln dried, unless you special order direct from a sawmill (very uncommon and it's for people that want to dry their own wood).

To answer your question though, if by dried naturally they mean air dried, then no they aren't safe. Pine needs to be heat dried (like in a kiln) over several weeks in order to become safe. The long heating process melts and cooks the sap and pitch inside the wood so it either drips out or hardens, as well as evaporates most of the phenol oils.

 

Sgrover

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Thank you. That is the correct one I bought. I emailed the seller and they stated that it is Brazilian Pine. When I asked if it was kiln dried they said it was natural drying by natural wind from a hair dryer and said it was non toxic. How can I check to know if it is okay to use. I bought 4 of them. Thank you again.
 

Amethyst

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Thank you. That is the correct one I bought. I emailed the seller and they stated that it is Brazilian Pine. When I asked if it was kiln dried they said it was natural drying by natural wind from a hair dryer and said it was non toxic. How can I check to know if it is okay to use. I bought 4 of them. Thank you again.
That is a very odd way to dry lumber, as I said though it was likely they bought kiln or "heat" dried boards that were then imported to where ever they are, it looks like they are in China? so maybe a situation of lost in translation especially since their English is not good even on the website (Personally I don't trust anything from China for my pets period though, too high of a risk of it being contaminated or not what they say it is). Maybe the person just means they washed the boards they bought and dried it with a hair dryer? I don't know that just sounds very odd and sketchy. I guess they could have ordered logs from Brazil and have their own sawmill that they cut the boards themselves with, but again that seems odd. You can see if the wood has been heat dried by putting it in the oven on a low heat like 200F for a about 10-20 minutes. If sap comes out of the wood it hasn't been properly dried and is not safe for the chins.
 

Sgrover

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Thanks so much. We will put them in the oven to see what happens. Will not buy from them again. I appreciate all of your information. Thank you.
 

Amethyst

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If it doesn't feel sticky at all it's probably fine, looking darker could have just been it got cooked a bit (doesn't hurt it). Yes pine has a strong smell, it should smell like pine.
 
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