Rabbits love to chew through wood. And if you give them some kiln-dried wood to gnaw on, they’ll happily chomp on this heat-treated timber.
But, is kiln-dried wood really safe for rabbits to chew through?
Well, in this article, you’ll discover exactly how kiln dried wood differs from traditionally seasoned lumber. You’ll also find out if kiln dried wood is safe enough for rabbits to nibble.
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So What Exactly Is Kiln-Dried Wood?
Kiln dried wood is simply wood that’s been super-heated inside a kiln oven. Basically, this timber has been seasoned via a heat-treatment, instead of air dried.
Related Post: How To Season Wood (7 Tips)
Now, Kiln drying is just a heat treatment, and there are no chemical additives involved. Instead, kiln dried timber is merely heated (for up to 36 hours) at about 94°C (201.2°F).
And as it has been heated and not air-dried, kiln-dried lumber has a much lower moisture content than air-dried wood.
You see, traditionally seasoned wood takes around 6-12 months to dry out, at which point it’s moisture content falls to under nineteen percent. However, wood that has been kiln dried can have a moisture content as low as twelve percent.
Hold On…What Is Moisture Content Again?
Moisture content is simply a way to measure how much water is sloshing around in lumber.
Freshly logged lumber has a lot of moisture in it. Often referred to as ‘green’ wood, at this early stage, wood has a moisture content of nearly 100%.
Got It. So Is Kiln Dried Wood Safe For Rabbits?
If that piece of wood has been kiln-dried — with no additional chemical treatments — then it is safe for rabbits to chew on. And this still depends on whether or not that wood’s specific species is safe for rabbits in the first place.
But, if you did not personally kiln-dry that solid wood, then it may not necessarily be chemical-free.
That’s because kiln dried wood typically gets put through an extra process called ‘pressure treatment’. And this treatment involves saturating wood with mold-resisting chemical preservatives.
This chemically-treated kiln dried wood is often stamped with KDAT, which stands for K.iln D.ried A.fter T.reating. And this particular kind of kiln dried timber is much too dangerous for rabbits to be near, let alone chew into.
So Untreated Kiln Dried Wood Is Perfectly Fine For Rabbits, Right?
Absolutely. There is nothing inherent to kiln-drying that would turn an otherwise rabbit-safe wood, (such as Apple wood), toxic.
So, as long as you’ve checked that the wood itself is rabbit-safe, then the heat-treatment process of a kiln oven doesn’t make wood unsafe for rabbits.
Related Post: Is Plywood Safe Enough To Use For A Rabbits Hutch?
To Wrap Up, Here Are The 3 Key Takeaways From This Post…
- 1). Kiln-dried wood has been seasoned using a kiln oven. This high-heat treatment seasons wood in a fraction of the time of traditional air-drying.
- 2). Untreated kiln dried wood is free of chemical treatments or wood preservatives. The process of kiln drying does not make wood toxic.
- 3). However, kiln dried wood that has been stamped with ‘KDAT’ is not safe for rabbits. KDAT stamped wood has been kiln dried after having been saturated with chemicals.
Enhancing your rabbit’s diet | RSPCA.org.uk