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Thread: Is Red Maple a safe wood?

  1. #1
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    Default Is Red Maple a safe wood?

    I know Maple is listed as a safe wood, I wanted to check specifically about red maple because I can't feed it to my goats because there's something in it toxic to them. Does anyone know if that applies to squirrels as well? I have tons of small red maple trees I'd love to be able to use for cage toys.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is Red Maple a safe wood?

    I have been using it for years in my cages. But you gave me a fright when you said goats canít eat it. Goats eat anything.
    redwuff
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    Master Wildlife Rehabilitator

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Is Red Maple a safe wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by redwuff View Post
    I have been using it for years in my cages. But you gave me a fright when you said goats canít eat it. Goats eat anything.
    It isn't the wood, it is the leaves, and wilted, drying ones are the worst. Has to do with tannins and goats and other livestock having issues with those.

    I have found that squirrels really don't like chewing super hard wood like maple - if they can get their choppers on some nice, soft, splintery pine they are a lot happier! I provide 1 x various widths indoor pine lumber for chewing.

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  6. #4
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    Default Re: Is Red Maple a safe wood?

    I was going to cut a whole 3" diameter tree trunk as a climbing tree for inside the cage, rather than something for her to chew on specifically, and smaller branches as ladders, but I assume she would gnaw on it a bit and wanted to make sure it would be safe.

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    Default Re: Is Red Maple a safe wood?

    If they can get their choppers on some nice, soft, splintery pine they are a lot happier! I provide 1 x various widths indoor pine lumber for chewing.[/QUOTE]

    Do you de-bark the pine first? I have tons of pine trees, too.

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    Default Re: Is Red Maple a safe wood?

    Quote Originally Posted by Freja View Post
    If they can get their choppers on some nice, soft, splintery pine they are a lot happier! I provide 1 x various widths indoor pine lumber for chewing.
    Do you de-bark the pine first? I have tons of pine trees, too.[/QUOTE]

    I am talking about actual indoor pine lumber from Home Depot and the like. The 1x2, 1x3, 1x4 lengths of pine used as trim boards - they usually sell premium and common grades, with the latter cheaper, with more knots, sometimes warped, but eminently chewable!

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  10. #7
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    Default Re: Is Red Maple a safe wood?

    https://exoticanimalsupplies.com/safe-wood-gerbils/

    Some oaks are ok, yet other species aren't. Same with maples; sweet and silver maples are ok, yet as you've posted, red maples aren't.

    Bamboo is very high in calcium oxalate. You don't want to a a sliver of bamboo under your skin; it becomes soft,

    which makes it harder to remove than other wood slivers that cause irritation.

    I would avoid kiwi wood; the wood can cause skin irritation due to the higher content of calcium oxalate crystals in the form of raphides.

    Raw pine contains oil that is high in tannins; pine wood should to be kiln dried, not treated with pesticides.

    Inquire at your home improvement center as to their availability of untreated pine.

    Pine is lowest in calcium oxalate compared to other soft wood conifers that are significantly higher.

    Calcium oxalate found in all plant sources is highest in the roots, bark, stems and leaves of plants.

    In some plant sources is may also be very high in the leaves and even the fruit.

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  12. #8
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    Default Re: Is Red Maple a safe wood?

    [QUOTE=Diggie's Friend;1338503]https://exoticanimalsupplies.com/safe-wood-gerbils/

    Some oaks are ok, yet other species aren't. Same with maples; sweet and silver maples are ok, yet as you've posted, red maples aren't.
    /QUOTE]

    So you think red maple is a bad idea for a climbing tree in her cage? I haven't been able to find anything online about the toxicity of the wood itself.

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    Default Re: Is Red Maple a safe wood?

    Does anyone know if maybe wax myrtle is ok? Goats and deer eat the heck out of its leaves and bark, and I see birds eating the berries. I'm just trying to come up with a safe tree I can cut for her overwinter cage.

  14. #10
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    Default Re: Is Red Maple a safe wood?

    I wouldn't take the chance to put one wood source in a cage and expect the squirrel won't overly chew on it. Red maple bark contains higher toxins than other maple varieties. And though squirrels do chew on many trees even those that are somewhat toxic, they aren't effected like horses and ruminants are. Yet in captivity housed inn an enclosed space, a squirrel will do more chewing on the source that is provided, which in teh case of maples, means higher exposure to toxins.

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    Default Re: Is Red Maple a safe wood?

    We have used red maple without issue for years. Come to think of it, my old lady goat doesn't really pay attention to the maple trees? Freja, I see you are in Georgia. Oak, pecan, apple, crepe myrtle, and citrus trees are great branches to offer, leaves and all, as long as they're not off of a busy roadway or exposed to pesticides. I give more pinecones than pine branches, and definitely Magnolia pods. An invasive plant/tree that is likely in your area is paper mulberry, which was specifically brough over as livestock fodder. My pigs, rabbits, goat, and squirrels LOVE this as a food offering. The fruit is safe, although sticky, and isn't super sweet. My squirrels are also devouring beauty berries with the whole branch and leaves offered, but I tend to follow a seasonal calendar for feeding as much local forage as I can. I pay a lot of attention to what the wild squirrel squad eats, and hope my rescues develop a broad pallet for what the wild provides them

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