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Are Potato Leaves Poisonous to Chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by noodle5, Sep 3, 2016.

  1. noodle5

    noodle5 Hatching

    Aug 1, 2016
    I know that chickens can't eat certain foods such as avocado and apple seeds, but I was wondering whether or not they can eat potato leaves, from the plant its self. I know they can't eat potato skins, and I haven't fed them those. Also, potato leaves are poisonous to humans, and I am worried that my chikens may eat the poatato leaves in my garden when I let them out into the yard. Will the leaves harm my chickens?

  2. CluckerCottage

    CluckerCottage Songster

    Potatoes are a member of the nightshade family. The leaves and vines are toxic to chickens.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Mine eat apple seeds all the time when apples are in season. Yes, apple seeds along with most other fruit seeds contain a poison, but the dosage is so low that it does not pose a threat to the chickens. They’d have to eat a lot to suffer any harm. When I make apple jelly or apple butter I do not toss a huge pile of pure apple seeds where they can get to them. Even that probably would not hurt them but I consider that a reasonable precaution. But tossing them an apple core with seeds in it isn’t even close to a problem.

    Potatoes or potato skins do not represent a threat to chickens as long as they are not green. Green potatoes and potato skins are a threat to people as well as chickens. The potatoes and potato skins turn green because of exposure to the sun. Exposure to the sun concentrates a poison so you should not feed them to the chickens or eat them yourself. But regular white potatoes not exposed to the sun pose no threat.

    My chickens really love ripe tomatoes and ripe peppers. But the leaves of tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes contain a concentration of a toxin to chickens. You should not feed tomato, pepper, or potato leaves to chickens. Usually these leaves taste so bitter the chickens will take one or two bites then move on to something else before they eat enough to harm themselves, that bitter taste is a way nature protects chickens and other animals from harming themselves by eating those leaves. But if you toss the leaves into a bare run and that is the only green thing they have, they might eat it. So definitely do not toss those leaves in the run.

    Letting them into your garden where those plants are growing is a little more iffy. They should take one or two bites them move on to something that tastes a lot better. But if you wanted to remove those plants before you let the chickens in, well that would be totally understandable. A lot of people don’t but I won’t argue with you if you do that.
  4. Folly's place

    Folly's place Free Ranging

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    My birds have lots of room to roam (acres!) and they eat other things, including tomatoes, and anything in the garden, but they don't eat the leaves, or other toxic bad tasting plants. They have MANY other choices! Feeding bad stuff to birds confined in a coop would be a very bad idea, as they might eat what little is available. Mary
  5. annaBsChick

    annaBsChick Chirping

    Nov 24, 2014
    Herndon, VA
    Hi Noodle5,

    Why don't you check out PoultryDVM.com? They have an entire database full of what plants are toxic to chickens, including an entire page on the potato plant. Here is a link - http://www.chickendvm.com/poisonous/potato
  6. 8flocksMocked

    8flocksMocked In the Brooder

    Sep 5, 2016
    San Jose California
    Chickens cannot learn taste aversion but will avoid foods high in salt. I do not recommend and part of the potato plant at all

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