Grape Toxicity


10 Years
Oct 6, 2009
I have raised chickens for the past year without any major problems(did treat chicks for coccidiosis and mites) recently we lost two of the four of our one year old hens pretty suddenly. First the hens stopped laying, then for the next two weeks decreased appetite followed by death. We do not use any pesticides or fertilizers and keep the yard clean of trash and debris. The only thing that comes to mind and my vets could be some sort of toxicity. They get fed hen scratch, laying pellets and occasional food scraps and grapes. Has anyone ever heard of grapes(and raisens) causing toxicity in poultry. Recently it was discovered that is does so in dogs. Have you heard of any othter foods that cause toxicity. I have read the BYC website and noted those. Please help, we are all very confused and saddened.


Sun Lovin' Lizard
10 Years
Sep 12, 2009
Nor Cal
I've heard that grape seeds can be a problem but seedless grapes should be fine. Raisins on the other hand are often dried with sulfur and that is a common allergen for people and animals.


Premium Feather Member
13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
I have heard of grape toxicity, but I don't believe it for poultry. Wild turkeys eat them in the wild and I would expect that would be pretty catastrophic to the wild population if they were toxic.

When were your hens switched to layer ration? I find this tends to be a problem in hens at maturity. If they are switched too young, the excess calcium causes havoc on their internal system and eventually death due to kidney failure. Was a necropsy done?

Chicken Fruit

10 Years
Feb 25, 2009
Echo Homestead
My chickens favorite treats are grapes. They eat them all the time. In the summer they eat them daily. This time of year they get left over scrap grapes and raisins. I've never had or heard of anything dangerous about grapes for chickens. Green grapes are high in certain chemicals which can be toxic to the kidneys of some carnivors like dogs and cats.

I know bananas can overload their potassium and kill them.

But i've never heard anything about chickens and grapes.


11 Years
Aug 8, 2008
Sonoma Co, CA
The grape/raisin kidney failure in dogs is very rare, but real. Most dogs eat them with no problems. No reports I have heard in poultry about raisins/grapes. Mine get into the grapes on the vine on a regular basis. Avocados can be toxic to some birds, but it is a much more sudden death, not drawn out over several weeks. Necropsy is the way to go with multiple deaths. Your vet can do a basic one and see tumors, egg binding, large parasites- but if you want the fine detail, you will need to send the bird to your state lab- most states do this for free if you get them the bird. Where do you live? If you have a living ill bird, a basic fecal can rule out internal parasites. Mites/lice can debilitate/kill birds. I would suspect a diet problem, toxin exposure is possible, but with most young birds and unexpected death- it is trauma, toxin, diet or infection (viral or heavy parasite). A good necropsy will pick up most of these things. How much scratch do they get? If it is free choice, or lots- they can die from obesity. What kind of hens? More detail on what they looked like besides decreased appetite. Crop? Poop? Any limping/dragging? Respiratory signs? Ever deworm?

Foxhound lady

11 Years
Jul 9, 2008
TX baby!
Mine eat grapes or raisans everyday and nobodies died yet.

As for raisains and dogs dont do it unless you want a narly vet bill. And dogs with big time upset tummys and shaved legs from IV's (Trust me on this one)


In the Brooder
Dec 9, 2015
Grape Toxicity - (information from a respected bird vet)
Purple and red grapes can build to toxic levels. You can probably feed them to your chickens and not see a problem, but why risk it. My chickens LOVE grapes. My veterinarian advised feeding them GREEN OR WHITE GRAPES ONLY.
My chickens have not died from eating purple grapes yet, and I haven't died from eating too many snickers bars yet - but it isn't the smartest thing to continue with.

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