Why shouldn't you feed potato peels?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chicksgalore, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. chicksgalore

    chicksgalore Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2008
    I've read a couple places now not to feed (uncooked) potato peels to chickens but it never said why and I've always given my peels to my girls with no ill effects. Just wondering...
  2. DLS

    DLS Chillin' With My Peeps

    They get mine also.. I will stop untill I read more of this thread as it unfolds.
  3. farm_mom

    farm_mom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2008
    The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow shows potato on the list of toxic plants. It states the toxic parts are: green tubers, raw peels and sprouts. The symptoms: incoordination and prostration. My parents give all their potato waste to their chickens as well, w/o any noticable effects. I just toss mine in the compost pile.
  4. rooster-red

    rooster-red Here comes the Rooster

    Jun 10, 2007
    Douglasville GA
    Potatoes are a member of the nightshade family.

    Uncooked peels can be toxic to chickens.
  5. 65browneyes

    65browneyes Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2007
    My MIL tells me she used to always give her peelings to her chickens as well with no problems. I used to, but they wouldn't eat them raw. After I learned of the toxicity of the peels to the birds, I stopped saving them.

    However, I discovered they LOVE them cooked. Now, whenever I use potatoes, I peel them into a small pan and boil the peels a bit. Let them sit in the water on the stove over night and the girls have breakfast in the morning. They love them this way.
  6. greyhorsewoman

    greyhorsewoman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 3, 2008
    Endless Mts, NE PA
    My mother fed potato peels to our chickens when I was a little girl, so when I got chickens, I never thought twice about it.

    I've been feeding uncooked potato peels to my chickens for YEARS. They get plenty of other fresh/raw kitchen scraps as well as a balanced diet of layer/scratch. I've never encountered any adverse effects. Maybe it has to do with TOO many ??

    About the only thing I don't feed my chickens are onions & garlic because I don't want to 'taint' the egg flavor.
  7. Dennis1979

    Dennis1979 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 17, 2008
    Houston, Texas
    Unless you grow your own potatoes, or are buying organic potatoes, you might consider not feeding them to your chickens, or eating them yourself. Remnants of the pesticides, insecticides and other chemicals used in the growing process will concentrate in the skin of the potato.

    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  8. Buff Hooligans

    Buff Hooligans Scrambled

    Jun 11, 2007
    It was my understanding that raw green potato peels were a no-no.

    One green potato peel won't make them keel over and die, but toxins can build up in little chickens' bodies and harm them over time.
    1 person likes this.
  9. utahmethodist

    utahmethodist Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2008
    SLC, UT
    This is what I found:

    Potatoes contain glycoalkaloids, toxic compounds, of which the most prevalent are solanine and chaconine. Cooking at high temperatures (over 170 °C or 340 °F) partly destroys these. The concentration of glycoalkaloid in wild potatoes suffices to produce toxic effects in humans. Glycoalkaloids occur in the greatest concentrations just underneath the skin of the tuber, and they increase with age and exposure to light. Glycoalkaloids may cause headaches, diarrhea, cramps and in severe cases coma and death; however, poisoning from potatoes occurs very rarely. Light exposure also causes greening, thus giving a visual clue as to areas of the tuber that may have become more toxic; however, this does not provide a definitive guide, as greening and glycoalkaloid accumulation can occur independently of each other. Some varieties of potato contain greater glycoalkaloid concentrations than others; breeders developing new varieties test for this, and sometimes have to discard an otherwise promising cultivar.

    Breeders try to keep solanine levels below 200 mg/kg (200 ppmw). However, when these commercial varieties turn green, even they can approach concentrations of solanine of 1000 mg/kg (1000 ppmw). In normal potatoes, analysis has shown solanine levels may be as little as 3.5% of the breeders' maximum, with 7–187 mg/kg being found.[21]

    The US National Toxicology Program suggests that the average American consumes at most 12.5 mg/day of solanine from potatoes (the toxic dose is actually several times this, depending on body weight). Dr. Douglas L. Holt, the State Extension Specialist for Food Safety at the University of Missouri, notes that no reported cases of potato-source solanine poisoning have occurred in the U.S. in the last 50 years and most cases involved eating green potatoes or drinking potato-leaf tea.

    Solanine is also found in other plants, mainly in the mostly-deadly nightshade family, which includes a minority of edible plants including the potato and the tomato, and other typically more dangerous plants like tobacco. This poison affects the nervous system causing weakness and confusion.

    Strangely, they don't address feeding one's chickens. Are we the only ones obsessed with what can be fed to a chicken? [​IMG]
  10. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    Mine love their peels and I'm not taking them away. I've never seen any bad results or harmful side effects either and my grandma fed hers peels for years.

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