1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Gooseberry plants/bushes are TOXIC!

Discussion in 'Geese' started by ursusarctosana1, Apr 10, 2013.

  1. ursusarctosana1

    ursusarctosana1 New Egg

    8
    0
    9
    Dec 28, 2012
    Please note that gooseberry bushes are highly toxic to birds (and even humans) because they contain hydrogen cyanide. If a goose, or other bird, eats the green leaves he or she can die a horrible, painful death. It is difficult to locate information about the toxicity of gooseberries on the Internet and the plant is not listed as toxic to birds on any lists I've seen so far.

    Please, spread the word.

    European gooseberry

    Ribes uva-crispa (European gooseberry)



    http://www.globalspecies.org/ntaxa/868670
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Thanks for posting this, as I had just planted 2 gooseberry plants in one of my runs - I will be sure to enclose them in chicken wire well away from the leaves.
     
  3. ursusarctosana1

    ursusarctosana1 New Egg

    8
    0
    9
    Dec 28, 2012
    To be on the safe side, given my personal experience, I wouldn't have them anywhere near the birds--or other pets.
     
  4. ursusarctosana1

    ursusarctosana1 New Egg

    8
    0
    9
    Dec 28, 2012
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    The run where the berry plants are is my garden [​IMG] so they get booted out during the berry season anyway. They will be let back in during fall when the leaves are dropping. Thanks again...I will be sure to cover it anyway with chicken wire well away from the plant's leaves.
     
  6. billw

    billw Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    5
    91
    Oct 25, 2011
    WA Coast
    We use ducks as weeders in the gooseberry field and they have never had a problem. Of course, I've never noticed that they have eaten the leaves. No incidents with a couple dozen ducks working about 100 gooseberry plants. Maybe it is one of those plants that is toxic but that most birds don't have an interest in eating? We're planning to turn the geese loose in them this summer as well. Maybe I'll rethink that a bit and introduce just a couple to see how it goes.
     
  7. pastryman

    pastryman Chillin' With My Peeps

    113
    11
    83
    Dec 12, 2012
    Gooseberry are very common here in Denmark, and I have never heard of any problems with this.
     
  8. ursusarctosana1

    ursusarctosana1 New Egg

    8
    0
    9
    Dec 28, 2012
    Perhaps, under certain conditions and for certain birds, there is no problem being in the presence of gooseberry bushes, but why take that chance? If there's a large pasture area the geese may not be interested in trying the gooseberry bush leaves, but if one decides to try them, or there isn't a lot of grass left around, geese may eat them. It will depend on the goose, of course, but it has happened and the leaves are poisonous. It's a painful death and unnecessary. My aim is to help the animals and prevent more suffering, so I've published this article so that when others go to plant their aviaries and pens they will find information on the subject readily available on the Internet.
     
  9. billw

    billw Chillin' With My Peeps

    159
    5
    91
    Oct 25, 2011
    WA Coast
    Yep. Makes sense and I appreciate the warning. Our birds are working birds, so removing them from the gooseberries would be a matter of cost/benefit analysis. So far, there has been no cost, so the benefits definitely outweigh. But, it is good to know about the problem and the symptoms.
     
  10. Mamma Hin

    Mamma Hin New Egg

    3
    0
    6
    Mar 17, 2015
    Poor Valley, Virginia
    I've only just discovered this post. I was always told yhat free range birds won't eat what will hurt them. What mystifies me is, I have a 54 acre property with all types of nuts, fruit and berries among other things. I bought chicks this past March. When they were old enough, I let them free range. One of the first plants they found to strip of fresh new foliage was my gooseberries and currant bushes. Nothing happened. They are beautiful, healthy birds. Now I'm paranoid.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by