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I am brand new to rabbits. On another board I was told by someone that I shouldn't use cedar chips for bedding. Is this so? The seem to be happy and healthy, and I'm enjoying their company.
 

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This question carries a bit of interesting history with it, so please bear with me.

When asking other rabbit people, you're bound to run across the theory that the "aromatic" chips "cause liver damage." Rest assured, it doesn't, but that claim was the result of someone misinterpreting the scientific jargon on a scientific report to mean "liver damage." The effect on the liver is really quite harmless and results *only* in causing anesthetics to not last as long when a rabbit is anethesthized for surgery, etc. Unfortunately, this so-called "liver damage" myth was popularly being applied to both cedar and pine chips.

A great many rabbit people will use pine chips for nest box bedding, or to line the bottom of a nest box stuffed with straw or hay, or to line a dropping pan and with absolutely no ill effects. Cedar chips, however, are not recommended due to it being considerably stronger in aroma, wherein rabbits, which are highly susceptible to respiratory problems, can be affected by the strong aroma. As such, rabbits should not have direct contact with the cedar shavings.

I hope this answers your question. Enjoy your new bunns!

Pat Lamar
President
Professional Rabbit Meat Association
http://www.prma.org/
 

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Discussion Starter #3
thank you for an informative answer. the person who advised me to not use cedar said it was because the buns would chew them, and their intestines be perforated. they have been on the cedar for a week, but I'll get it out first thing in the morning.
 

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bearmeatwoman said:
thank you for an informative answer. the person who advised me to not use cedar said it was because the buns would chew them, and their intestines be perforated.
Pretty unlikely for that to happen, since rabbits normally chew wood, anyway, eh? Wooden nest boxes, resting boards and wooden hutches can certainly attest to that, heheheh.

Pat Lamar
President
Professional Rabbit Meat Association
http://www.prma.org/
 
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