Privet Berries?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chickenwhisperer, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. So my backyard has alot of privet trees in it, and my chickens too.

    I have recently noticed that the chickens will jump up to pick single berries off the lower branches.
    Its actually quite comical.

    So I figured Id help them out and I pulled off a few bunches of the berries and threw to the chickens.
    They devoured all the purple berries, and left the green ones.

    Are privet berries ok for chickens to eat like this?
    Did I find a new seasonal food source?
    Or are these berries not good for my chickens.

    Its been a few days since I fed them the bunches, and everybody seems fine.
    I have probably around 1ton of the berries on trees in my yard, lots good grub?

    There is really no way to stop them from eating the berries, short of cutting down the trees which is not an option.


  2. LaurelRidgeDreams

    LaurelRidgeDreams Songster

    Jan 23, 2010
    Mountains of NC
    I have no idea about the berries but your tree is beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!11
  3. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Songster

    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    I think they are fine for the chickens, Privet berries were once used as a laxative- so just watch for extra poop! [​IMG]
  4. Hmm, laxative huh?
    My chickens eat so much stuff from the yard you cant really go by that, its different everyday!

    Anyways, they really seem to go out of their way to get the berries, and have taken to flying up into the tree, which I just cant be havin, so I will pick some bunches and feed to my chickens.

    I have read in a lot of places that it may be poisonous, but I have seen no ill effects from my chickens at all.
    They have already been eating them for a couple weeks now anyways, and with the amounts of berries on the trees I dont think I could keep the chickens from eating them if I tried.

  5. allieloveschickens

    allieloveschickens Songster

    May 20, 2010
    San Diego
    Yes, I have heard they can be mildly toxic to humans, as well as dogs and cats. But often birds can eat berries that mammals cannot- If they seem healthy and happy and have been eating them for a while then it seems like its okay [​IMG]
  6. I started finding more information once I narrowed down what species of privet I think I have.
    Ligustrum licidum.

    I even found a website that mentions privet berry use as an ancient chinese medicine.

    Here is an excerpt taken from the article.
    More recent research has suggested that extracts from ligustrum fruits stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation, and may have beneficial effects on the liver.

    Here is the article

    I have a lot more reading to do now

    Everything about ligustrum berries mentions use in herbal medicines.
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
  7. RIBill

    RIBill Chirping

    Nov 7, 2010
    I can't speak to privet berries. I would caution making any assumptions based on claims or use as an "herbal remedy". Aside from the significant differences between birds and humans, most herbal remedies are extracts of some form. Some chemicals are water soluable. Some are solvent (alchohol) extracted. Many times, the method of extraction is the key to safety. Also, quantity is an important consideration too. A small amount of most things wont kill your birds (or you) but large quantities are very different. I guess what I am saying is, if the forage a snack daily for the next couple days or weeks, it' s probably of no concern. I wouldn't, however, freeze bags for winter snacks to serve daily for the next 3 months.

  8. K8tieCat

    K8tieCat Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Northern California
    Not sure if the berries from the Chinese Privet is poisonous for chickens as wild birds love the berries. However, that is a nasty gawd-awful tree whose berries sprout everywhere they fall and they take over wherever they are allowed to grow. I just removed a 35', 16" diameter tree from my back yard and another one in my neighbor's yard about 4 years ago and the seeds are still trying to come up all over the place. When first blooming they lose tons of yellow pollen all over the place, enough to clog a swimming pool filter, and then later berries all over the place. They ruin sidewalks and driveways. The birds loved to eat the berries off the tree and then wherever they pooped a new tree would spring up. Messy, messy, messy. Personally, I would take a chain saw to every privet tree on the planet. ....That's just me, tho.
  9. Quote:We think alike K8tie!
    I am of the same opinion of those nasty trees and berries.
    They spread like weeds and grow just as fast.

    However, if the chickens like to eat it, I have found at least some tiny good use for privet.

    Oh, and I aint gonna bag and freeze the berries, but for the next couple weeks till they are gone, my chickens gonna be grubbin them.

  10. jpcode

    jpcode Chirping

    Jul 8, 2011
    I don't think they are poisenous as I see lots of birds eating them. However does anyone know if the seeds pass through the chickens and get spread everywhere? I hate privet because they spread and grow so quickly.

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