Question-Turkeys Eating Pokeberries

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by aggieterpkatie, Sep 29, 2010.

  1. aggieterpkatie

    aggieterpkatie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2009
    We processed 4 of our turkeys on Sunday, and I noticed a few things because they've been eating poke berries. Well, I wasn't able to totally keep them contained for 12 hours prior to processing, so a couple of them had poke berries in their crops. Some of the juice leaked on on the bird while I was gutting/cleaning them, and it stained their skin. I tried to wash it off as quickly as possible, but I wasn't quick enough.

    Aren't poke berries toxic to us? Will it matter if the skin got dyed a little? I got a really pretty picture of intestines that were purple due to their poke berry diet. [​IMG]

    I don't really think there would be a problem, but I wanted to know what you thought about it. Thanks!
  2. goldnchocolate

    goldnchocolate Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 9, 2008
    My chickens LOVE these berries!!! I didn't know the name of the berry until you posted this and then I googled an image and that's the kind of bush/berries that grow in my pasture. The chickens will actually hop up to grab these berries right off the bush. I have been picking them by the bunch and then throw the bunch on the ground and they pick them clean. They do stain everything purple so I can just imagine the color of your turkey [​IMG] where it leaked.
  3. RoosterGeek

    RoosterGeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2010
    Lebanon, TN
    I would cut those parts of the skin out to be safe. Also, I think as long as you rinsed the meat quickly after contamination, you should be fine.
  4. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 12, 2009
    The berries are safe, its everything else that isn't
  5. Ibicella

    Ibicella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 13, 2009
    Everett, WA
    You won't have any problems. The toxin in the juice is destroyed by the cooking process.

    Everything about poke is toxic, but the berries and leaves used to be cooked heavily (traditionally boiled three times) to destroy the toxin and eaten.
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2010
  6. annageckos

    annageckos Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 6, 2009
    SE PA / NJ
    Quote:The berries are toxic too. The new, young sprouts are considered safe, but I don't know for how long. But the whole plant is toxic.

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