Eating bark

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickembob, Jun 24, 2016.

  1. chickembob

    chickembob Hatching

    Jun 24, 2016
    I have 3 chooks, a new Hampshire red, an astralorp and white leg horn. Two of them, the red and austrolorp, I've noticed are scratching and eating bark of a tree. I think it's a tea tree. They've both just finished malting, aren't laying and are pale in the face and comb.
    I was wondering if the tree could do them any harm if they're eating it?

    I couldn't find any info about chickens eating bark, and I've never seen chooks do this before. I've had chooks for around 10 years now.

    These chooks are about 1yr old. They have run of the whole large back yard. The white leg horn looks very happy and healthy, red comb and laying. I haven't seen this chook at the tree.

    Thanks for any help

  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Free Ranging

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Welcome to BYC.

    Are they eating the bark itself or are they picking off insects that are on/under the bark.
    You may want to provide extra protien since they are coming out of molt, scrambled/hard boiled egg, tuna, mackerel or meat.

    As far a whether it will harm them, I don't know. Toxicity of plants/trees can vary by species. If you feel like it may harm them then it may be best to block access to the tree.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  3. chickembob

    chickembob Hatching

    Jun 24, 2016
    Yeah thanks for the advice, I am in the process of giving them some extra to supplement some protein.

    I watched them for quite a while and inspected the tree and couldn't see ant bugs, it looks like they are eating the bark. It's a tea tree, the same which tea tree oil is made but I am not sure if it's just the concentrated oil that can be poisonous or if the tree can be. Maybe I should ask someone who is passionate about trees.

    May just have to block them off and see if it helps


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