Are cherry pits bad for chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by PetRock, May 31, 2010.

  1. PetRock

    PetRock Overrun With Chickens

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    We have a Queen Anne cherry tree that is loaded with ripe cherries and of course our chickens LOVE them! (We have one chicken that is 13 weeks old and 3 that are 10 weeks old.) I read that cherry pits are bad for chickens so we pit them when we feed them cherries. We let them free range while we are in the yard to watch over them but we are having a hard time keeping the chickens from eating the whole cherries that they find under the tree. As soon as one finds one, the chase begins! The other three chickens chase the one with the cherry and so do their humans. We usually are successful in catching them and pitting the cherry but they have gotten smarter and are beginning to hide or gulp down the whole cherry before we can catch them. How serious is this and do we really need to keep chasing them down to pull the cherry pit away from them?
     
  2. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Cherry pits are toxic. I'm not sure how many it takes to kill a chicken but if they swallow enough of them it will do so. I'm surprised chickens would swallow entire cherry pits though. I've tossed similar things to mine (most fruit pits are toxic) and they just pick around the center.
     
  3. LAMchop

    LAMchop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A pie cherry tree hangs over my run. My chickens have consumed a lot of cherries with no ill effects. I know the pits contain cyanide compounds- not sure if a chickens gizzard can grind them or not though.
    I think that since your chickens have limited access to the cherries, they will probably be ok if they eat some.
    Sounds like you're getting a good workout! [​IMG]
    I think there are some older threads here regarding cherries and chickens also. A search may give you more answers.
     
  4. redhen

    redhen Kiss My Grits... Premium Member

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    I dont know if the pitts are toxic or not.. i have heard that cherry trees are toxic to animals though...
    And my goat did get sick one time after eating some leaves once...
     
  5. PetRock

    PetRock Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:They are in a hurry to down them before someone else gets the cherry away from them! I'm glad that cherry season will be over in another week or so and then I won't have to worry about it anymore.
     
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I have 2 huge 40 yo cherries in my yard. Never thought to see if they were toxic. The chickens eat lots of cherries, and as far as I know-no ill effects.

    Imp
     
  7. PetRock

    PetRock Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:I'm glad to hear that! Yes, it is a comedy of errors to see us chasing them around the yard. It is usually the barred rock who has it and she has become very good at getting away from us.

    I'm off to do a search of the older threads!
     
  8. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Everything but the cherry fruit itself is toxic on a cherry tree. The leaves and wood also contain 2 different compounds that can be broken down in to cyanide making them toxic to all animals. They are not good trees to keep around herbivores that might ingest moderate to large quantities of any part of them.
     
  9. PetRock

    PetRock Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote:Fortunately, it is a big cherry tree and the branches are quite a ways from the ground. The chickens don't seem to be interested in the leaves, just the cherries!
     

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