Chicken Of The Woods

by Daisy on 08/04/2014

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It sounds like a (bad) joke: What kind of mushroom grows in a chicken run?

IMG_2671Answer: Chicken Of The Woods!

When I posted this photo to our Facebook page asking for help identifying the mushroom that sprung up overnight on a cherry log next to the chicken coop, I got several immediate responses. The verdict, yes, Chicken of the Woods. According to consensus, it was specifically Laetiporus cinncinatus, a choice edible mushroom-forager’s delight.

I’ve drilled holes in logs until my hands and arms shook. Plugged them with sawdust spawn for oyster and shiitake and reishi mushrooms. Slathered the holes in melted paraffin. Covered, partially buried, watered, and generally labored over them. No mushrooms.

Then I toss a cherry log aside, do nothing to it for a couple of years and that’s where the mushrooms grow?

I haven’t given up hope on my deliberately inoculated mushrooms yet, it hasn’t been enough time, but I have to laugh at the way nature keeps having a joke at my expense.

Nature truly knows best.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Cinnamon Vogue August 5, 2014 at 10:52 am

I had the same situation. All of a sudden these mushrooms started growing in my flower pots. Very strange. Don’t think they are edible like yours. There must a mushroom encyclopedia or perhaps I can do a Google image match search to see what mushrooms I have and whether it is edible.

Jan Becker August 7, 2014 at 3:35 am

@Cinnamon Rogue, Audobon has a great field guide series that includes one for mushrooms. I use it when foraging.

As for the chicken mushroom–they are quite good, but can cause gastric upset in some people. The ones I’ve seen are usually darker than this, but this looks like a just sprouted shroom, so that may be why it’s paler.

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