Prickly Pear Cactus

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WalkingWolf, Feb 9, 2009.

  1. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    I let my chickens and ducks out yesterday and they attacked a patch of prickly pear cactus. I was chasing them to get them to put down what they had. Mine do not have the large spines but the invisible spines that are really irritating.

    Is it safe to let them eat them? They really went nuts, I eat them but only after burning the pad.
     
  2. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Not sure, are they acting ok?
     
  3. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    Wildsky might know. She had a post here last year on whether or not her chickens could eat the prickly pear around her place. If I remember right there weren't any problems.
     
  4. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    No problems so far, I assume they know what they are doing, but prickly pear will make a cow mouth bleed. My neighbor when butchering found shards of glass in some of his birds gizzards so I am hoping it won't hurt them it is everywhere in my yard. If they can handle glass maybe it will be alright to let them go at it. I was hoping somebody had some experience with it.
     
  5. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    I have burned it for cows to eat but know nothing about chickens eating it...Would assume they have better aim? than a cow and could avoind most of the spines? Other birds eat it and smaller animals they seem to be able to avoind the spines...I would guess it is okay
     
  6. Buster

    Buster Back to Work

    I sent her a PM with this link. Maybe she'll have some advice.

    The guy who processed my turkeys said that he processed one (not mine) with a 16 penny nail stuck in the gizzard and has found all kinds of other things in gizzards. He said it harms the organ but it keeps functioning the best it can. I'm not sure how the fuzz on prickly pear would affect the organ, whether it would just be crushed up or get stuck in there. [​IMG]
     
  7. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    Thanks, I may just burn some and toss them in their pen seeing they love them so much.
     
  8. Wildsky

    Wildsky Wild Egg!

    11,973
    12
    313
    Oct 13, 2007
    California
    [​IMG] Yep I had chickens eating those darn things and running from me like a kid with a bag of halloween candy. [​IMG]

    I watched them closely - those that ate them, and there weren't any problems - apparently the "thorny" bits don't cause too much of an issue, I guess there is always the chance one will go down wrong and poke through the crop or something [​IMG]
    But my girls were fine (even with the chasing around) [​IMG]
     
  9. WalkingWolf

    WalkingWolf Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 1, 2009
    North Carolina
    Quote:Thanks I won't worry about it then, as I already stated I will burn some for them. They grow quickly here and there are plenty. I'll have to keep them penned when my bamboo sprouts shoot out though, I'm sure they will tear them up also.
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2009

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by