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safe/unsafe woods?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:33 pm
by Claudia
Is there a list to which woods are safe or not safe? Can I go out in the woods and get my own for the crabitat for them to climb on?

Re: safe/unsafe woods?

Posted: Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:05 pm
by Jamison
Pine and cypress are unsafe. :)

Re: safe/unsafe woods?

Posted: Fri Mar 15, 2019 8:46 am
by JoeHermits
The HCA food lists have wood listed, otherwise the Crab Street Journal has a wood specific list for convenience. ... safe-wood/

If you’re going to collect your own wood, know how to identify it, and make sure it’s not in an area that gets sprayed with pesticides.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Re: safe/unsafe woods?

Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 5:38 pm
by GotButterflies
Wood should be free from pesticides, fertilizers and you would also want to make sure that wherever you live doesn't spray for mosquitoes via plane or truck :)

Re: safe/unsafe woods?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 1:23 pm
by Claudia
Thank you for the link, very helpful. Now I need to learn some tree identification. One of the few I know we have around here (and I can identify by the leaves) is locust (but I don't know if it's "black" or not) and we also have wild, walnut trees, I think they are referred to as black walnut; they are more bitter than the kind you buy in the store.

I wonder what makes some not safe for them. The evergreens I can understand because those have different oils or saps but regarding some of the others I noticed some fruit trees on the safe list and others on the unsafe list. Interesting. I found it curious that mango was listed on the unsafe list, but I read that this would be in their native environment (and is a good food source, referring to the fruit)... Do they have an extinct to avoid eating the wood and just go for the fruit when scavenging in their natural habitat?

Also I didn't see apple on that list. Wood from apple tree?

Re: safe/unsafe woods?

Posted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 2:00 pm
by wodesorel
The worry about fruit trees is that there is compound that digests into cyanide in the bark and leaves. The problem is that this is known to happen in mammals. Crabs are not mammals. Ants, for instance, can eat fruit bark and leaves with no trouble.

I had a big cherry tree in my crab tank for five years with no trouble, and they picked at it regularly. I imagine the other related species should be okay, but without testing it cannot guarantee it. I have also regularly offered apple stick treats like for hamsters, the crabs devour them.

These are legacy lists, and in most cases the justification of why things are listed as unsafe is missing. Many were added because they were harmful to humans or dogs or birds or tortoises or horses. None of these are close to the same classification of a hermit crab and sadly should not be used to try and guess safety. We've removed several items from our own version of the Unsafe Food lists over the years due to members feeding something without ever having checked it first, thus providing actual food trial evidence rather than the best guess. The rest we leave because we aren't sure why they are on there and we would rather have an abundance of safety.

Woods are listed in with our regular food list so we only have one master list to track down and make changes to.