Poke Salet (pokeweed) purple berry poo or coccidiosis?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Los Pollitos, Nov 23, 2008.

  1. Los Pollitos

    Los Pollitos Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2008
    Georgia
    I was wondering if anyone's birds have ever eaten purple poke salet berries and then the resulting poops made you think you had an outbreak of coccidiosis? We have several pokeweed plants that grew up from the run and through the chicken wire, and yesterday I blew some leaves off the chicken wire at the top of the run. I'm sure quite a few of the berries fell into the run but I didn't really pay attention to it at the time. This morning, there was red/purple stuff in several piles of poop under their roost.

    We have 14 chickens, about 6 1/2 months old. They did have a confirmed coccidiosis outbreak about 1 month ago, but none were lost after treatment of the whole flock with Sulmet. Could it come back so quickly after treatment? Or did they just eat some berries? None of the birds are exhibiting any of the other typical cocci symptoms as they did a month ago. Anyone ever experience anything like this? I don't want to medicate them unnecessarily.

    Thank you!
     
  2. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Could indeed be the berries, but I have read that pokeweed/berries are both toxic to birds. If your birds are not otherwise suffering ill effects (huddled, feathers ruffled, lethargic, not eating/drinking) you may be OK. Do you have the ability to post pics? With some kinds of coccidiosis, their droppings will either contain blood (not purple like berries), or they will have the appearance of bits of ground meat in them.

    Please keep us posted.
     
  3. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

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    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    From wikipedia:

    The pokeweeds, also known as poke, pokebush, pokeberry, pokeroot, polk salad, polk sallet, inkberry or ombĂș, comprise the genus Phytolacca, perennial plants native to North America, South America, East Asia and New Zealand. Pokeweed contains phytolaccatoxin and phytolaccigenin, which are poisonous to mammals. However, the berries are eaten by birds, which are not affected by the toxin because the small seeds with very hard outer shells remain intact in the digestive system and are eliminated whole.
     
  4. Los Pollitos

    Los Pollitos Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2008
    Georgia
    Well, after removing some of these pokeweed berries from above their run and getting the purple juice all over my hands and face and glasses, I went over and checked out the poo again, and it was most definitely berry-poo, not blood. I looked at it much closer and could actually see the tiny seeds in it. I am super relieved! Also, for those wondering, these berries don't seem to have any adverse health effect on the birds. They ran around all day outside acting crazy, as usual.

    FYI, chickens love fresh pecans. Our little buff-o's were literally attacking me for them today while I was outside.
     
  5. chickenannie

    chickenannie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Pennsylvania
    Since they're acting normal, I wouldn't worry about it.
     
  6. key west chick

    key west chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2008
    Gainesville, GA
    Mine had purple poo this past summer. I thought the same thing at first.
     
  7. Jenski

    Jenski Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Glad this worked out! Now you know where to get poke leaves next spring . . . [​IMG]
     

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