potato scraps

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by girlonthefarm, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. girlonthefarm

    girlonthefarm Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 30, 2011
    Could someone please explain to me what is the danger in feeding potato scraps to my chickens? I read here that you should not give chickens raw potato scraps because there might be green potatoes in the mix. I read in my gardening books that green potatoes are caused when potatoes are exposed to light, either in the ground or out. Doesn't that mean they are producing chlorophyll? just like other green plants? I have tasted the green area on some potatoes and it was bitter so I prefer not to eat the green part, but didn't hurt me. Does it make the chicks sick? or is it an old wives' tail? thanks for the info. Bonnie
  2. Spikes Chooks

    Spikes Chooks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 10, 2012
    Sydney, Australia
    Hi Bonnie, the green in the potato is certainly toxic. I don't know what it is exactly, but it's more than chlorophyll. A little is not going to kill you - or probably even a chicken, but who knows how much would make you/them feel sick? Better to not eat it yourself or feed it to chickens at all IMO.
  3. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    Just to be safe, I only give mine cooked potatoes and never the peels.
  4. chickenwalker

    chickenwalker Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 18, 2012
    Jackson, MI
    What about sweet potato peels? Tonight I put the sweet potato peels in the compost tonight because I didn't know if they were safe chicken eats. I know sweet potatoes are a member of the morning glory family, and those are bad for the girls.
  5. TurtlePowerTrav

    TurtlePowerTrav T.K.'s Farm

    Jul 29, 2012
    Oregon City, OR
    My Coop
    I couldn't find anything on it in "Raising Chickens for Dumbies", but I would maybe post you own thread and ask it.
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

  7. KrisH

    KrisH Chillin' With My Peeps

    here is a link and an excerpt from

    Solanine occurs naturally in many species of the genus Solanum, including the potato (Solanum tuberosum), tomato (Solanum lycopersicum), eggplant (Solanum melongena), and bittersweet nightshade (Solanum dulcamara).
    Potatoes naturally produce solanine and chaconine, a related glycoalkaloid, as a defense mechanism against insects, disease, and predators. Potato leaves, stems and shoots are naturally high in glycoalkaloids.
    When potato tubers are exposed to light, they turn green and increase glycoalkaloid production. This is a natural defense to help prevent the uncovered tuber from being eaten. The green colour is from chlorophyll, and is itself harmless. However, it is an indication that increased level of solanine and chaconine may be present.
    Some diseases, such as late blight, can dramatically increase the levels of glycoalkaloids present in potatoes. Mechanically damaged potatoes also produce increased levels of glycoalkaloids. This is believed to be a natural reaction of the plant in response to disease and damage.
    In potato tubers, 30–80% of the solanine develops in and close to the skin.
    Showing green under the skin strongly suggests solanine build-up in potatoes, although each process can occur without the other. A bitter taste in a potato is another, potentially more reliable indicator of toxicity. Because of the bitter taste and appearance of such potatoes, solanine poisoning is rare outside conditions of food shortage. The symptoms are mainly vomiting and diarrhea, and the condition may be misdiagnosed as gastroenteritis. Most potato poisoning victims recover fully, although fatalities are known, especially when victims are undernourished or do not receive suitable treatment.[5] Fatalities are also known from solanine poisoning from other plants in the nightshade family, such as the berries of Solanum dulcamara(woody nightshade).[6]
    The United States National Institutes of Health's information on solanine says to never eat potatoes that are green below the skin.
    Deep frying potatoes at 170°C (306°F) is known to effectively lower glycoalkaloid levels (because they move into the frying fat), whereas microwaving is only somewhat effective, freeze drying or dehydration has little effect, and boiling has no effect
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I offer mine raw peels all the time and they just aren't that interested. They're better with yam peels, but don't scarf them down like they do other things. I've never had a bird get sick from eating any of these things.
  9. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 26, 2007
    central Ohio
    when we first got chickens years ago we didn't know about raw potato peels I put some in the compost where the chickens regularly visit. Two of our hens became very sick and died
    within hours or each other, in less than 24 hours time. Obviously it was some type of poison and in hindsight I'm certain it was potato peels that killed them. I've heard that sweet potato
    peels don't have the same effect, but my feeling is better safe than sorry again. :(
  10. Mayflower79

    Mayflower79 New Egg

    Aug 19, 2012
    North Georgia
    I cover my potato peelings in water and zap them in the microwave for a few minutes before throwing them in the compost.

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