Peppers For Chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Awestruck, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Awestruck

    Awestruck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have worked and studied birds for 28+ years now, and have always given peppers to my parrot. I began to study chickens a year or so ago, and found an article that says that if you give hot peppers to the chicken, it will make the yolks darker. I have a friend who has a daughter who has chickens and she doesn't give her chickens peppers (she can't eat anything in the nightshade family). Then I read an article in my Chickens magazine saying that chickens should not be fed peppers because of the unknown amount of solanine in them. So, I am confused.
    I grew a lot of peppers for my bird, but she died last year. Some of the plants are still growing. When we get chickens, I would hate to not be able to use the peppers for them. But, I want to do what is best for all. What is best when it comes to chickens eating peppers?I could see not giving the chickens potatoes that are green or even tomato or pepper plants, but I was unaware that peppers are not good for chickens. So, what is correct concerning this? Thanks.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    You can wind up reading about anything on the internet. I don’t think they are deliberately trying to mislead anyone, they just get confused or get their information from a confused source.

    Solanine is in white potatoes that have turned green due to exposure to sunlight. Solanine is in tomato leaves, potato leaves, and pepper leaves. Solanine is not good for chickens or humans to eat. There is a dosage factor. One bite will not kill you or them and won’t even make you sick but solanine is a good thing to avoid. Too much can be very bad for you or the chickens.

    White potatoes not exposed to sunlight, tomatoes, and peppers do not contain solanine in any quantity close to hurting you. White potatoes are probably the worse. If a regular human ate about 60 pounds of white potatoes at one meal, they could get enough solanine to harm themselves. Your liver is reasonably efficient at expelling solanine from your body so it would need to be in one sitting. Can you imagine trying to eat 6 pounds of potatoes in one sitting, let alone 60?

    While there may be a kernel of truth in it, there could be a trace amount of solanine in a pepper, but the chickens cannot literally eat enough to harm themselves.

    If you feed ripe colored peppers to the chickens the carotenes in then will make the yolks darker. Even yellow peppers will darken the yolks some. The green ones might, I don’t know.

    There is no difference in nutrition in the dark or light yolks, but I do like the darker yolks. To me they are just more appealing.
     
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  3. lcertuche

    lcertuche Chillin' With My Peeps

    Free-range birds have darker yolks anyway. I do not care for eggs myself and so the eggs taste even eggier (?) than store bought eggs. As for peppers, tomatoes and just about any vegetable out of the garden my chickens eat with no seemingly side effects.
     
  4. Awestruck

    Awestruck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's kind of how I was thinking. I was basing my question out of an article in the Chicken magazine. What was interesting was that in another issue, it talked about giving dried peppers to the chicken to make the yolks darker. I guess there were 2 different articles, written by 2 different people having opposite perspectives. I do understand that giving tomato plants, pepper plants, and potato vines would not be good. But I am just wondering about the vegetables themselves. My avian vet recommended peppers for my bird, but not dried. Anyway, I put a pepper outside yesterday and saw the neighbor's chicken eating it. He or she seemed to be enjoying it. Hopefully, the pepper will be good for the chicken and will not bring harm. Hopefully, I will have plenty of peppers to spare in the future for my chickens (along with whatever else I am supposed to be feeding them). Thanks.
     
  5. Awestruck

    Awestruck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your insight.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    My chickens adore those dried, hot Asian peppers. I buy them in bulk from the grocery store. My chickens also get lots of fresh tomatoes from my garden in summer. I've been feeding them these items for going on ten years with no problems.
     
  7. Awestruck

    Awestruck Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. Ten years is long enough to know if something works or not.
     
  8. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    With my older hens I have resorted to adding ground paprika or sometimes cayenne powder to feed mix when collecting hatching eggs. Levels are far above what I would eat in my food as feed mix becomes decidedly reddish. I have not noticed any health issues associated with the ground pepper use.
     

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