Scrubbing, Baking and Boiling

Bostongirl'sChin75

Stephanie: Zoo Poo Gal!
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Dec 4, 2009
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I've seen on here where people harvest their own chin safe wood and boil, scrub and bake it, to make it chin safe. What do you use to scrub it? how long should you boil it and how long do you bake it for?

I have some people around me that have pecan trees and I was wanting to make some toys out of the pruned branches for my chin, along with some other wild fruit trees we have around. Also, I know that fruit trees that bear fruit with pits in them ( peaches, etc ) are poisonous to chins, but does anyone know about citrus trees? Living in Georgia and so close to Florida, I have a lot of wild orange trees and lemon trees around where I live and was wondering if they were safe for chins, if you do the scrub, boil and bake thing with them. And one final thing, can you really give chins pine cones to chew on, if they are done the same way?
 

Idgie

Chin Geek
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Yes, I would steer clear of pine cones. Plus, many people assume that the cone is from a pine tree, but there are many other conifers (evergreens with cones). And most of those trees are on the unsafe list.
 

Ruby

Lovin' My Chins
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Nebraska
I scrub mine, them bake them on the lowest temp until the bark is dried and crunchy. I don't boil mine, I think it takes away the flavor, since I bought some from someone who boiled hers, and the chins didn't like them. Just my opinion though.
 

borwin98

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Apr 11, 2019
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I scrub mine, them bake them on the lowest temp until the bark is dried and crunchy. I don't boil mine, I think it takes away the flavor, since I bought some from someone who boiled hers, and the chins didn't like them. Just my opinion though.
I'm going to try this, keeping 7 chins in chew sticks is a lot of work. Thanks for the idea.
 

Amethyst

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I'm going to try this, keeping 7 chins in chew sticks is a lot of work. Thanks for the idea.
Just so you know, the boiling part does have a purpose, it kills anything that might be living inside the wood (though the heat from the oven should do that too) as well as it helps to remove some of the natural sugars from the wood. So yes it likely does change the taste, because it's not as sweet, but it also means it's safer for the chins to eat it.
 

borwin98

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Just so you know, the boiling part does have a purpose, it kills anything that might be living inside the wood (though the heat from the oven should do that too) as well as it helps to remove some of the natural sugars from the wood. So yes it likely does change the taste, because it's not as sweet, but it also means it's safer for the chins to eat it.
Thank you, Amethyst, I haven't started on my wood yet so will definitely boil it before putting it into the oven. My babies deserve the best care I can possibly give them.
I read somewhere that chins in the wild eat bugs, do you know if this is true or not? Too much on the net is false so you can't rely on it too much. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge.
 

Amethyst

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Thank you, Amethyst, I haven't started on my wood yet so will definitely boil it before putting it into the oven. My babies deserve the best care I can possibly give them.
I read somewhere that chins in the wild eat bugs, do you know if this is true or not? Too much on the net is false so you can't rely on it too much. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge.
In the wild they likely do sometimes eat bugs, but their diet is also much poorer compared to what we feed domestic chins, so bugs could be a source of protein for them that they may otherwise be lacking if the vegetation in the area is having a bad year. It could also accidentally eat bugs while eating plants. Here is a list that researchers back in 1983 found they actually for sure ate in one area based on what was found in their poops. In case you are wondering, yes it does list they eat copao fruit, which is a type of cactus, cactus fruit has a much lower sugar content then most fruits we normally eat.


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Domestic chins are (or should be) fed a balanced pellet diet with much more nutrients and digestible protein sources the bugs, primarily alfalfa. As well as a much more nutrient rich grass hay like timothy. The occasional bug here and there isn't likely to hurt your chin, assuming it's not poisonous or toxic, and it's not uncommon for chins to catch the a fly or moth that lands in the cage, or a ant or spider that was on the floor during playtime that you didn't notice until the chin ate it. Intentionally feeding bugs is not something I would advise though.
 

borwin98

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Apr 11, 2019
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Thank goodness, I've had my fill of raising bugs. I raised mealworms and crickets, plus always had earthworms when I was raising baby birds, it's a relief to not have them anymore, but if my chins had needed them I would be back doing it.
Thank you for the wild chin food list, Amathyst, that will come in handy. There's always something new to learn about chins.
 
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