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

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by joan1708, Dec 9, 2011.

  1. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    DFW - mid cities, Tx
    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.
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    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.
  3. Chicken Chat

    Chicken Chat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    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.
  4. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    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.
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    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.
  6. RLipinski10

    RLipinski10 Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 8, 2011
    Northern Michigan
    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. [​IMG]
  7. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    DFW - mid cities, Tx
    Thanks for everyones comments. That helps!
  8. hitgsd

    hitgsd Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2011
    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.
  9. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    Bluebirds and other thrushes love holly berries. They are a great winter food for many birds. Don't know about chickens.
  10. Jewels1935

    Jewels1935 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 4, 2011
    Central Florida
    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 [​IMG]

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