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do chickens eat holly berries? Are they poisonous to chickens?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I'm building my coop under 2 holly bushes (small trees). I notice the berries falling and now I'm concerned holly berries may be poisonous to chickens.

3 young Silkies, 1 Brittany bird dog, 1 Chihuahua mix, a ferrel kitty and me!

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3 young Silkies, 1 Brittany bird dog, 1 Chihuahua mix, a ferrel kitty and me!

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post #2 of 16

Mine used to hang around the holly bushes in front of my house.  I never saw them eat the berries, and they didn't get sick from hanging aorund there.

Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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Ventilation -- may be the most important aspect of coop design

BYC Troubleshooting article -- click here

Worry is interest paid on trouble before it comes due.

14 hatchery and mutt hens

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post #3 of 16

I have a holly tree on the outside of my fence that hangs over into their run for more than 10 yrs now.  I've never seen them eat the berries or had any go sick on me so it should be fine.

post #4 of 16

My neighbor has a holly bush really close to the property line and my chickens love the berries. I never even thought if they were harmful but mine have been eating them and showing no signs of illness or anything.

Lay down with dogs and you get up with fleas.


Love those Orps!

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Lay down with dogs and you get up with fleas.


Love those Orps!

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post #5 of 16

Free roaming chickens will eat anything that interests them, including poisonous and dangerous things. I don't think you can stop it and I don't think a little of anything (other than moldy feed) hurts them.
The only thing I've seen chickens eat that hurt them was a nail and a piece of glass. Got stuck in the gizzard and sliced it.

God bless the entire world - no exceptions.
Honey Bees, Black Penedesencas, among others

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God bless the entire world - no exceptions.
Honey Bees, Black Penedesencas, among others

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post #6 of 16

I have actually read awhile when trying to figure out what was good and what wasn't good for chickens and read a few places that holly berries ARE poisonous to chickens. So I personally wouldn't let mine eat them. Better safe than sorry. smile

My husband and I have 8 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Araucanas, 3 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Pekins, 1 Rouen, 2 Runners, 1 Welsh Harlequin, 4 Seramas, 4 Black Copper Maran roosters (French style), 1 Black Copper Maran hen, 2 cats, 1 Alaskan Malamute, 1 Black and Tan Coonhound, 1 Ringneck Dove, 1 Rat and 3 fish.

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My husband and I have 8 Buff Orpingtons, 3 Araucanas, 3 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 2 Pekins, 1 Rouen, 2 Runners, 1 Welsh Harlequin, 4 Seramas, 4 Black Copper Maran roosters (French style), 1 Black Copper Maran hen, 2 cats, 1 Alaskan Malamute, 1 Black and Tan Coonhound, 1 Ringneck Dove, 1 Rat and 3 fish.

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post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks for everyones comments. That helps!

3 young Silkies, 1 Brittany bird dog, 1 Chihuahua mix, a ferrel kitty and me!

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3 young Silkies, 1 Brittany bird dog, 1 Chihuahua mix, a ferrel kitty and me!

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post #8 of 16

My holly bushes are from from the chicken run.  But I have seen many wild birds eating the berries.  And their instincts are usually pretty good about what is edible and not edible.  This is what I got from the internet:

Holly Berries
Holly is one of the 600 species of flowering plants from the Aquifoliaceae family of flora. The bright red colored berries, hard in nature, are mildly toxic. Consuming these berries can lead to severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and make the person feel drowsy. Though they are poisonous for human beings, various species of birds and wild animals feed on them.

Seems to  say safe for chickens not people.

post #9 of 16

Bluebirds and other thrushes love holly berries.  They are a great winter food for many birds.  Don't know about chickens.

post #10 of 16

We have a whole row of them in front of our house..right now full of berries. My chickens stay clear away because the leaves are sharp smile

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