Safely preparing wood.

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Staff member
Jan 28, 2009
South Dakota
Contributed by Alli713

How to prepare wood for your chinchilla:

Make sure that the tree that has not been sprayed with pesticides or chemicals, even years ago as the chemicals can remain for a number of years. Also make sure you know for sure what type of tree it is. Make sure it is one of the safe woods. If you aren’t sure, just don’t use it.

To prepare the wood, many people scrub the branches or twigs in hot water first with a brush. This will help get rid of any dirt that may be on the outside of it. If any of the pieces have lichen on it, toss those out as some forms of lichen can be toxic. Some people will then boil their wood to take out some of the tannin and to kill germs. Not everyone does this however.

No matter what though, the next step would be to bake the wood. This is to kill any microorganisms or insects that may be living in or on the wood. Sort your wood to have pieces that are about the same size together and put them on a cookie sheet or tinfoil. Keep them about the same size so that they will need to cook the same amount of time. Preheat your oven to anywhere from 150-200 degrees. The lower temperature that you use, the longer you’ll need to bake the wood, but if you do a higher temperature be sure and check the wood often so that it doesn’t burn. You’ll need to bake your wood for at least an hour. The time will really depend on if you have green wood and how big the pieces are. Just keep checking the wood and when it is dried out, take it out and allow it to cool.

Store your dried wood in an open package so that even if you did miss some of the moisture, it will naturally dry out and not mold.
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