Is a cherry pit to big for an adult chicken?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Spongegirl, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Spongegirl

    Spongegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    middle earth
    I have a cherry tree & it's time to pick. We don't like them because they are sour but I know they would be so good for the chickens. I don't have my chicks yet so I plan on freezing the cherries for them. I am wondering if the pit is too big for them. Anyone know?
  2. the-bird-man

    the-bird-man Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 24, 2010
    land of the sun
    i do not think the pits are good for them so i would de-pit them first just to be safe [​IMG]
  3. Spongegirl

    Spongegirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    middle earth
    ok, thanks. i will.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    First, do not panic at what I am about to tell you. Some people get real excited and it really is not that big of a deal. At least read all of my post before you faint.

    Cherry seeds, like apple seeds, contain a poison, cyanide. They do not contain a lot of cyanide. A lot of fruit tree seeds contain some cyanide. You can eat a few and it won't hurt you. Your chickens can eat a few and it won't hurt them. They or you would have to eat a lot before there was any danger.

    If your chickens forage under a fruit tree and get some seeds, no big deal. But if you make something that contains a lot of fruit and you have a lot of seeds, dispose of them in a way that the chickens cannot get to a big pile of them. For your purposes, freezing the fruit for the chickens, I'd suggest pitting them first. That way you don't have to wonder about how many is too much.

    As far as your basic question, when processing a 15 week old rooster, I found a plum pit in its gizzard. A plum pit is a lot bigger than a cherry seed. Yours will not be harmed by eating something the size of a cherry pit.
  5. AccentOnHakes

    AccentOnHakes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2009
    I offered my chicks a cherry when they were about 7 weeks old. The cockerel took the cherry and ate around the pit. Heck, he ate around it cleaner than I could have. Your chickens might just leave a pile of pits lying around.
  6. capayvalleychick

    capayvalleychick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 26, 2010
    Guinda CA
    Cherry pits do contain cyanide, so that would be a concern...however, I wonder if the pit gets digested at all?

    The reason that I think that the pits might not get digested is because of our experience last winter. We grow olives and after the harvest, the chickens spent months foraging through the olive grove. I started finding pits on the floor of the mobile coop -hundreds of them, intact- all over the floor. So they were eating the whole olives and the pits were coming out in their manure.

    Cherries and olives are about the same size and the fruit is much softer. So, maybe the pits would just go right on through their digestive system. I don't know this for certain, but that would be my guess. Is there some way that you could experiment to see if they do digest the pits or not?

  7. grandmaof5

    grandmaof5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2009
    Central N.S.
    For what it is worth, sour cherries make terrific jam!
  8. 5chicks4us

    5chicks4us Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 30, 2011
    Sour cherries are so good! They make a great topping for cheesecake or you can use them in cherry pie. I wouldn't be wasting them on my chickens. LOL.

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