Is there any harm in chickens eating mushrooms? My small orchard is filled with mushrooms in the wood chip mulch after the recent rains. The chickens are free range and spend a lot of time there in the chips. I have not seen them eat any of the many types of growing mushrooms , but am concerned with poisoning if they do.
Chickens will scratch through wood chip piles and pick at the hyphae growing in them. Some of the folks at backyardchickens.com are worried about it, others aren't. My chickens generally ignore mushrooms and look for tastier things, like slugs or pieces of fruit.
You may want to learn to identify mushrooms of the Amanita genus: white gills with a ring on the stem and a volvulus (cup) at the base, cap can be various colors. That is the really deadly genus to keep them away from. Other mushrooms may be unpalatable enough to deter them from trying them again. Chickens can learn. I fed mine some ginkgo fruits --once-- the second time they turned their beaks up at the stinky things.
when i let the ducks out in the morning the first thing they do is run around at full speed eating all the tall skinny mushroom that grow out of the mulch. They are very healthy and they do not lack for things to eat so i would guess the mushrooms are giving them something they need. as long as animals something healthy to choose (in my observations) so far, they choose well. i think they know way more than we do. hope this helps even though it is not chickens.
Thanks John and Kris.
A few of the mushrooms have popped up before, but nothing like this year. I am covered up with all shapes, sizes and colors. From what I have read having these are a good thing as far as soil goes. I was just a little worried for the chickens. Thanks for your replies.