Elderberry Poisonous?

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iwantanallotment

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Elderberry Poisonous?
« on: September 10, 2009, 01:08 »
Hello all, just wondering....

Mooching through all the links here I found a site that lists elderberry among poisonous to poultry plants. Further research suggests that it may be a carcinogenic to them.
The actual berries, that is.

I'm concerned, cos my hens have a large elder tree in their enclosure, which I was glad of because it offers shelter from the sun and rain.

Daily they gobble up the fallen leaves, and relish the berries too - but only when shrivelled and dried.
I've picked them fresh from the tree (before I read this) and the girls absolutely don't want to know - not until they dry. Won't touch them.

Does anyone know if this drying process renders the berries harmless and removes the carcinogenic properties? 

I always have a tendency to believe the girls know best, and that this is why they won't touch them fresh....but am I just deluding myself re their intelligence? It could be instinct?

Soz for the long post. I don't want to chop the tree and remove their only shelter, but will if I must - which is why I'm asking you lot  :blush:

Thank you  :)









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agingchick

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Re: Elderberry Poisonous?
« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2009, 08:23 »
I have an elderberry bush in my garden the hens love the berries I cut the high up branches off and hang them up in their run, it doesn't seem to do them any harm and they certainly don't wait for them to dry.
Diane
I use to be indecisive now I'm not so sure

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Flowerpower136

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Re: Elderberry Poisonous?
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2009, 09:05 »
Which list are you looking at?

Different plants are toxic to different animals, so a plant listed as poisonous for eg cats, isn't necessarily toxic for hens.  Haven't been able to fine a definitiive hen list.

If others peeps hens are eating them and surviving, then.... can't be toxic for hens?

Berries will be much sweeter when ripe and dry, so can only deduce that your hens have got a sweet tooth :lol:

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iwantanallotment

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Re: Elderberry Poisonous?
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2009, 09:17 »
Which list are you looking at?

Haven't been able to fine a definitiive hen list.


It's a poultry list FP, in one of Auntie's stickies at the top

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Flowerpower136

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Re: Elderberry Poisonous?
« Reply #4 on: September 10, 2009, 12:53 »
Which list are you looking at?

Haven't been able to fine a definitiive hen list.


It's a poultry list FP, in one of Auntie's stickies at the top

Apologies to Aunty!  I'll have to have another look.  Of the 2 lists I've seen on the stickies, one relates to cats and the other to horses.

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tode

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Re: Elderberry Poisonous?
« Reply #5 on: September 10, 2009, 13:07 »
Know nothing of ckicken biology (except how to carve em), but when the elderberries are ripe, we find purple bird poo everywhere. I think blackbirds are particularly fond of them, so wouldn't think they were poisonous.

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Flowerpower136

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Re: Elderberry Poisonous?
« Reply #6 on: September 10, 2009, 13:12 »
You're right there is a 3rd list, and it's a poultry one, why didn't I see that one!?

But, it's USA based.  They are refering to Sambucus canadensis - which I know nothing about, apart from according to that list, it's poisonous to poultry.

Our native Elderberry is Sambucus nigra.  Which I know is no help at all, because don't know if they have similar properties or not.

Can only say, that personally, I have never considered our native Sambucus to be a toxic plant.  If you can get to the berries before the birds do, you are doing well. :lol:

Just of note for cat owners, a bit concerned that the 'Toxid Plant Index' says that lillies are not poisonous to cats...........the pollen is actually very harmful, if they get it on their coats and then lick it off.  Accordingly to the Cats Protecton people, many cats die because they've brushed up against a bouquet. :(  I know its off thread, but lots of cat people on here too. :lol:

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8doubles

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Re: Elderberry Poisonous?
« Reply #7 on: September 10, 2009, 13:32 »
Starlings eat lots of elderberries and it does not seem to harm them , what it does afterwards  to washing on the line is another matter.

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hillfooter

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Re: Elderberry Poisonous?
« Reply #8 on: September 11, 2009, 06:00 »
Elderberry I've never heard is poisonous and I've also got a bush in one of my runs which the birds pick at and I've not had any problems I can identify with that.
Regards
Truth through science.

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andreadon

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Re: Elderberry Poisonous?
« Reply #9 on: September 11, 2009, 13:58 »
gosh, i hope not!
Mary's been pecking at the berries every time i've let the girls out.
she's not dead yet....  ::)



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