eating pine needles...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by redwa, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our beautiful coop/run area is built under some Fir Pines. The needles are obviously all over. Do you think the chickens will have a hard time digesting the pine needles? i have recently had 2 chickens with crop problems. I am doing everything imaginable to figure out the real underlying cause. Do you think this could contribute to their crop problems? Do other chickens ingest pine needles, successfully? Thank you for your collective wisdom. You guys are great...
     
  2. daisy_dukers

    daisy_dukers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do know pine needles are high in Vitamin C, here is something I found in relation to cattle though..


    "Nutritional studies in support of research on pine needle abortion have included determining the effects of pine needle consumption on digestibility of grass hay. Digestibility of organic matter, protein, and fiber all decreased with increasing amounts of pine needles in the diet. This suggests that pine needle consumption may be detrimental to the overall nutritional status of cattle as well as having abortifacient effects."

    http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=4713
     
  3. cristina33

    cristina33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have heard that pine needles do give crop problems! I would personaly keep a close eye on that!
    Take Care
    Cristina
     
  4. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If that is the case, how do I keep an eye on it? I can't remove all the pine needles. is there something I can give my girls to help them digest them easier and fully? can't move the coop or the run. What a bummer....
     
  5. cristina33

    cristina33 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is there any way you could cover the run? Thats what I would do. My run is under a pine tree.I covered it with a tarp. I cant move my coop or run either so that was the best thing I could come up with.

    Take Care
    Cristina
     
  6. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Our run is actually not a run but a fenced area, encircling the coop approx 350+ feet. It's where they "free range". I can't see how I can tarp the whole thing. But I am open to all posibilities.
     
  7. greyfields

    greyfields Overrun With Chickens

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    I'd be very leary of pine needles. As stated above, they cause miscarriage or abortion in ruminants. I chopped the ponderosa pine down here on my property just to be sure.
     
  8. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh my gosh, you are kidding! I can't believe they can be so troublesome. We have them all over the property! They grow like weeds here. Now I am depressed.... [​IMG]
     
  9. tomdeggeater

    tomdeggeater Chillin' With My Peeps

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    redwa, You might reconfigure the run so it's long and narrow so you can cover it with a tarp or netting, or you could find somebody who could take out the trees for the wood. For instance a pulp mill. Depends where you live. Or, you could move everything to a clear space, or under deciduous tree(s) that shed their leaves.
    TomD.[​IMG]
     
  10. redwa

    redwa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks, Tom for the great ideas. Unfortunately, our coop is unmoveable. We went all out last year and built a large aviary type coop that has a green roof on it. Cutting down the firs may be our only option. What a royal bummer. I never knew our chickens would be such a wonderful addition to our lives, and so darn expensive...
     

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