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Pine wood toys?

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Post by M O U S E Tue 22 Dec 2020, 3:00 pm

I was out walking at the junkyard earlier, and found some cut pine wood from the pine trees the orchard had previously burnt. These wood pieces were not burnt, albeit a little dirty. A small piece, about three inches wide and five tall with little knobs around the sides caught my eye. I think this would be a fun climbing toy for mice.

This is 100% natural, no chemical treatment, no artificial drying. If I sanitized this, would it be safe for my mice to use?

They don't tend to chew on the wooden hides or blocks I have for them. The only wood they've ever chewed on is my wooden bird ladder and some apple sticks.

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Post by chiroptera Tue 22 Dec 2020, 9:16 pm

Pine isn't safe because it contains toxic phenols, so definitely skip it for the mice. Even if they aren't chewing on it, the phenols can bother their lungs.

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Post by Robin~ Wed 23 Dec 2020, 6:18 am

Solid pine is safe for mice. Actually, I bet if you have any wooden toys in your cage right now one of them is probably made of pine. The issue with pine comes when it has a large surface area to release phenols on. Pine shavings have a ton of surface area, so they can release tons of phenols, which can cause URIs. Solid pine, not so much, especially if you seal it.

Still, I definitely wouldn’t bash anyone wanting to air on the side of caution, especially if your mice have particularly sensitive respiratory systems. Smile

However, if you were to use pine, I would not use pine from some random junkyard. I really couldn’t imagine anyone getting off all of the bacteria, mold, urine, or whatever other funky stuff may be on/in it. If you wanted to make some toys out of solid pine, I’d recommend just going to your local hardware store and getting some fresh. Pine is super inexpensive, and most places will even cut the wood for you. Smile

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Post by River Wed 23 Dec 2020, 6:04 pm

I have always read it's safe in solid form, so I'd agree with Robin. If you've ever had this toy: Pine wood toys? 81Yx1NqY8ZL._AC_SY355_

It's made of pine, according to Chewy. A little boring, though...your idea sounds more fun.

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Post by chiroptera Wed 23 Dec 2020, 8:19 pm

Ah, I did know that solid pine such as the sort used for hides and such was okay, but was under the impression that untreated pine with bark and the like still attached still held dangerous phenols?

I could be wrong, however, I wouldn't use it for rodents myself.

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Post by Robin~ Thu 24 Dec 2020, 7:04 am

Yes, I agree pine right off the tree is bad, not only due to the phenols but also due to the sap content. I was under the impression OP was talking about cut pine planks and not cut pine branches, but upon rereading it it seems it may be more likely to be the latter. In that case, I agree, I’d steer clear of it.

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Post by SarahAdams Sat 26 Dec 2020, 9:33 am

I have a ton of huge pine trees on my property. I hate picking up the fallen branches because of the sap leaking out of them and which is very hard to get off my hands. I would never give these branches to rodents as they would be highly likely to ingest the sap as they try to get it off their fur and paws.

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Post by M O U S E Mon 28 Dec 2020, 9:30 am

Okay, I definitely won't be using pine. Thank you all!

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