There are many unsafe and toxic woods that can damage the health of your chinchilla or even kill it. Many considered chinchilla safe woods are also unsafe because they may contain pesticides. Some woods are toxic and poisonous by nature. There exists many resinous and aromatic trees that can damage the digestive and respiratory system and also liver. In general, the number of toxic and danger woods is much larger than the safe woods. However, do not assume a wood is safe unless it is specifically listed as such.
Woods should be washed in salt and water then thoroughly dried before use at sun. You could also heat them in oven for 30min at 150Celsius and this should kill any microorganisms. This is the preferred method.
Here is a general rule for fruit trees. All fruit trees that contain a stone, pip are not safe woods because releases Cyanide into the digestion. Fruit trees that contain seed are safe woods. However, this not a one way rule and it does not quite apply completely successfully. So it is still confusing which wood is safe and which is not but I will give you a chinchilla safe woods list that is checked by many chinchilla breeders and not only.
Chinchilla Safe Woods
- Any wood from a fruit tree bearing seeds (apple, pear, grape, etc.)
- Pine white NOT red pine (ONLY oven dried – not fresh pine)
- Rosehip branches – from the rose family and safe
- Hazelnut – All fruit trees from this family (apple, pear)
- Crab Apple