Mushrooms in run - dangerous?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by NorthTexasWink, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. NorthTexasWink

    NorthTexasWink Songster

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    I've had several different types of mushrooms pop up in the area of my new chicken run (coop and run still under construction) and I would bet they will return at some point after the hens take up residence. Do I need to be concerned? Some are bright red, which I associate with danger. Some are humongous!

    This area is currently mostly covered with Saint Augustine grass, quack grass, sorrel, Bermuda grass, nutsedge, and dandelions. Plus the usual stuff that grows under big old oaks in north Texas. This land was reportedly a pear orchard before the subdivision was built in the 1940-1950's. The only soil amendments in this area for the past decade have come in the form of fallen leaves and dog droppings. I've raked it out, watered and mowed it back to lay out my coop and run, but nothing else.
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Do a thread search for Red Cap mushrooms (very poisonous) and Wine Cap mushrooms (I just spread Wine Cap spawn in my orchard and garden). Regardless of which type you have, or perhaps an entirely different species, I highly doubt that your chickens will be bothered by them. They seem to know what they should and should not eat, and some of the very things that are considered to be poisonous are sought after by my flock when they are free ranging. Obviously, my flock did not get the memo about rhubarb leaves being poisonous, because they will skeletonize them when I turn them loose in my fall garden.
     
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  3. NorthTexasWink

    NorthTexasWink Songster

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    Thank you lazy gardener. I've not kept birds in this part of Texas before, and honestly can't remember having problems with mushrooms around back when I did have birds in south central Texas. Thought I'd better check before finishing the henhouse area. Better safe than sorry. I'm a believer in Darwinism, but chickens aren't exactly natural are they? I'll clear what I can and pour vinegar over those spots that worry me. Probably overkill, but I'll sleep better. Thanks again!
     
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  4. Personally, I'd be on the safe side and dispose of any mushrooms you might find just in case some of the girls mistake it for a tasty treat. During mushroom season I just dig 'em up. Good luck :)
     
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  5. NorthTexasWink

    NorthTexasWink Songster

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    Yup. Like I said, I'm raking it all out, dousing with vinegar, and keeping an eye on it. Won't be much of an issue as long as the hot dry weather holds. It's after rain I need to be extra vigilant. I'm gonna say once the hens get into the run they'll turn it into bare ground in short order. I'll be doing my version of deep litter, so it should be fine. Thanks for the input!
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Can I ask why you feel the need to douse the soil with vinegar? While vinegar is not considered poisonous, it will wreak havoc on the microscopic life, and even the insects and worms in your soil, which you want to encourage, not kill. Trust your chickens to know what they can and can't eat. Chickens have been gleaning their own feed from their environment for thousands of years. And even the fungi growing in the soil is beneficial for a chicken's immunity and gut health. While I would not consider harvesting the many mushrooms and toad stools I find growing in my yard, simply b/c I don't know which ones are edible, I've observed my flock deliberately eating some of them, and leaving others alone.
     
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  7. NorthTexasWink

    NorthTexasWink Songster

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    The vinegar is to kill off the deathcap (or poisonous wild) mushrooms. Very nasty things. I have dogs as well as a roaming neighbor cat and while I doubt they'd eat any, I feel better killing those mushrooms off. I'm talking of about a tablespoon of vinegar on the spot I find them, not dousing the whole area. Sorry I didn't make that clear. I use vinegar for stubborn weeds between patio pavers. Figured the acid would also kill dangerous fungi and decrease the likelihood of it reappearing.

    I can reintroduce benevolent mycorrhizae later, I guess. I have plenty of spawn from my ongoing mushroom farming, as well as spent medium that contains the "roots" of edible fungi. With any luck, they will flourish and crowd out the bad 'shrooms eventually. I usually add that to the compost, but no reason I can't inoculate the deep litter as well. I will also be adding worms, if any can escape the hens.
     
  8. While researching mushroom spawn, going to try to inoculate my woods with Morel mycelium, I came across Stropharia rugoso-annulata (King Stropharia Clemson). It's supposed to do well in in livestock pens and chicken runs, it's predatory on coliform bacteria, keeping the run clean and not as smelly. Think I'll give it a go, here's a link if you're curious; https://mushroommountain.com/products/king-stropharia-clemson-stropharia-rugoso-annulata
     
  9. Upon further investigation, King Stropharia, are Wine Caps.
     

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