I'm just musing here - chickens scratch around and eat up seeds right? On my site I have an abundance of Pink Peppercorn (Californian Pepper Tree) trees that produce masses of seeds every year - would chickens turn their noses up at these? Has anyone ever given black peppercorns to chickens before? Pink peppercorns aren't the same species as black pepper but I think they're basically the same.
Pink peppercorns are anti-parasitic (or so local folklore says) so even if they couldn't be used as a viable feed they could be provided as a supplement.
Thanks for your thoughts.
EDIT: Ok - just read the wikipedia link,
The fruit and leaves are, however, potentially poisonous to poultry, pigs and possibly calves.
. It doesn't suggest how or why and there is no online link to the reference. As a sidenote, I don't have chickens yet, just wondering for the future.
EDIT II - Just found this thread on another site http://eattheweeds.com/forum/index.php?topic=1510.0, describes the peppercorns as being a mucous irritant so not suitable as a feed. I think it potentially could be used against intestinal parasites though - worth testing in small quantities.
Please let us know how this works out. I wonder if the chickens might end up tasting peppery?
If it's not good for them and they have access to better alternatives, animals will generally choose to eat the alternatives. So I think experimenting with letting chickens in the area is probably fine.
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