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I've been keen on taking pallets and other woods from supply stores so that I can up-cycle them into small woodworking projects like birdhouses, feeders and lately wine racks.

There were some fence sections that looks weathered enough that I though they would look good as birdhouses. When I cut into them I noticed the green stain that makes me think it was pressure treated wood.

Can I possibly use that for something like a birdhouse or bird feeder? I would not use it for anything like a food tray or something that would come into contact with food or edible plants. By extension, should I not use it for any applications.

It was an accident for me to pick that up in the first place since I don't even think I should burn it.

Can I use pressure treated wood for small projects that will be used by animals?

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Personally, I wouldn't feel right using pressure treated wood for a birdhouse or bird feeder. Several gardening websites even recommend against using pressure-treated boards for garden boxes because the chemicals can leech into the soil and could be absorbed by any edible plants you're growing. I imagine these chemicals could also leech into birdfood (as in a bird feeder) or perhaps through a bird's body parts through prolonged exposure (as in a birdhouse). The risk may be minimal, but better safe than sorry.

You could still find uses for the pressure treated lumber in decorative yard ornaments (which you'll probably paint or stain anyway), or as part of some structure like a shed, fence, arbor, or maybe even a bench or swing.

  • I haven't seen a bird house that's been out for a while that didn't have the entry hole all chewed up. Granted, I haven't seen that many altogether, but it's certainly a common occurrence. – drs Mar 18 '15 at 18:01
  • Would it be wrong to point out that the chewing is due to squirrels that most people don't want in their bird houses to begin with, so if the treated lumber isn't good for them, well... – FreeMan Mar 19 '15 at 19:31

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