Black cherry tree over the chicken coop?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by pdxchickgirl111, Aug 8, 2011.

  1. pdxchickgirl111

    pdxchickgirl111 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 8, 2011
    We are backyard chicken newbie's, and have recently acquired 4 adorable little chicks that are growing like weeds. We have been busy building them a coop and hen house in the corner of our yard, but have recently discovered that the large tree hanging over it may be a black cherry tree. I am reading now that black cherry tree leaves can be poisonous to livestock, particularly horses and cows, but not clear if that applies to chickens. Have any other chicken owners had a black cherry tree near their birds, and if so, did they eat the leaves, and were there any problems? We would hate to cut down the tree, and don't have too many alternate spots for the coop.
  2. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2009
    If it is toxic to chickens, I strongly doubt they would eat it, unless you left them without food and they were starving. Think of the all the people who let their birds free range, without any control over what the birds eat, and they do just fine. Now mine are in a fenced in yard, but when they used to free range, they ate whatever they wanted. We do have a lot of black cherry here, and I had no problem with chickens getting sick or dropping dead.
  3. Farmer_Dan

    Farmer_Dan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 9, 2010
    I don't know, but I would be concerned. When they are cooped up in their pen all day, they tend to eat anything that they can get their beaks on.
  4. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    I have read that cherry leaves are primarily toxic to livestock, and usually after they are wilted - I think it was on wikipedia, the fruit itself shouldn't be a problem,and I've not heard any warnings from the locals here where we have many cherry trees, chickens seem to discard old wilted stuff, as long as they have alternative nutrition.
  5. hcppam

    hcppam Chillin' With My Peeps

    If wild birds eat them, a chicken can. There is a post somewhere here BYC about a cherry tree in a coop and her chickens eating them all the time with no effect. [​IMG]
  6. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2009
    If wild birds eat them, a chicken can

    I think the person asking the question is asking about the foliage, not the berries. The berries are indeed edible to birds, humans, and other animals. I eat them myself. I personally would leave the tree and not worry, but my birds have a lot of space and and access to grasses and other plants in their fenced in yard. If yours are going to be confined to a coop and run too small to support any plant life after they scratch around for awhile, then maybe they will nibble at the fallen black cherry leaves. I doubt it, though, and think they would benefit from the shade, the cherries that fall into the run in the fall, and the leaf litter which provides hiding places for insects that the chickens can scratch around for.​
  7. Two Creeks Farm

    Two Creeks Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2011
    Hedgesville, WV
    My grandfathers coop had cherry trees and a few wild cherry trees in it or surrounding it. He had chickens the entire time he was alive in that coop and never had a single issue.

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