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Elderberries Poison?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by crazyhen, Jan 1, 2009.

  1. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    On the toxic plant list is elderberry. They say it is cyanogenetic. What in the world does that mean?? I have seen hugh bushes of elderberry growing right close to chicken fences all my life. Jean Ups! looked it up never mind. I guess no elderberries for my hens after all.
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  2. setter4

    setter4 Songster

    May 8, 2008
    Central Pennsylvania
    " capable of producing cyanide (as hydrogen cyanide)"

    But I never heard this about elderberries...people make wine from them and i fed a lot of them to my chooks this summer.... [​IMG]

    found this...
    Fruit not palatable to humans and may be slightly poisonous, although it is harmless when cooked. Sambucus racemosa ssp. pubens contains a cyanogenetic glycoside and an alkaloid that can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal pain. The berries contain very little of these substances, the stems contain moderate amounts, and the roots contain enough to cause death to hogs. Medical uses have been made of all parts.
    I guess the wine making does the same as cooking them and the fruit has very little of the "poisonous substances"
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
  3. Opa

    Opa Opa-wan Chickenobi

    May 11, 2008
    Howell Michigan
    If that's true one of my sons is poisoning me. I drink the elderberry wine he makes.
  4. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    where I live there are two kinds of elderberry. One has red fruit and is considered poison the other has black fruit and is used in jelly and wine making. Wonder if they were just talking about the red berried kind? Does anyone know?? Jean
  5. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Jean, I believe they are not just talking about the red berried elder but I don't know much about this.

    We were told as kids not to make whistles out of the elder branches because they were poisonous. Cornell University lists them "Species Most
    Often Affected: cattle, humans, goats . . . Poisonous Parts: leaves, twigs, roots, unripe fruits." You may appreciate the comments of the animal science guy linked to the page.

    The information is very much as Setter4 cites. The Setter4's elderberry is the red one but Cornell is saying the same about the blue elderberry.


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