Yew berries

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DanaSue11, Sep 17, 2016.

  1. DanaSue11

    DanaSue11 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2016
    Edmonds, WA
    Who has hens that eat yew berries? Mine have eaten a few and thankfully have been fine. I'm diligent about picking the berries up, but sometimes they fall when the ladies are free ranging. I'm just curious what experience people have.
     
  2. PetesChicks

    PetesChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2016
    Southbridge, MA
    Do they eat the seed in the berry, or just the red fleshy part? The red part is not poisonous to people or most animals, I'm not sure about chickens but I can't see it being a problem. The seed inside the berry is poisonous to people, though, but only if it is crushed. I assume it would be poisonous to chickens also, but I don't know if it would get crushed or just pass as a solid. If they pass, there shouldn't be a problem.
     
  3. DanaSue11

    DanaSue11 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2016
    Edmonds, WA
    I'm not sure if they're eating the seed or not, but the few I've seen them eat they gobble the whole berry. I imagine the seed is likely in it. I know some songbirds eat the berries with no problem.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    From my reading, yew is poisonous. But, so are many other plants that chickens munch on. If they have plenty of free range opportunities, and there are other plants available for their dining pleasure, I'd not worry much about it. But, if they are in a barren landscape with not much vegetation other than yew, I'd be concerned.
     
  5. DanaSue11

    DanaSue11 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 4, 2016
    Edmonds, WA
    That's what my reading mostly says, although I've also read differing opinions. They have 1/2 acre of grass and plants to graze around in, so they have plenty. Their favorite at the moment are the huckleberries, but the grapes will be ready soon... I have watched two ladies eat yew berries with no consequences, not even diarrhea. Granted it was only two berries, but I was nervous. I still am diligent about picking them up.
     

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