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Can chickens take out invasive weeds (i.e. creeping buttercup)?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi folks,

I'm looking for a natural way to fight the invasive weeds on the back half of my property, and I'm wondering if chickens could be the answer.  I planted some fruit trees back there, but mostly it's just weed heaven.  I'd love to improve the soil quality while getting rid of the weeds. 

Creeping buttercup and tansy ragwort are two of the biggest culprits, and I've read contradicting information on the web.  A big list of "plants that are toxic to chickens" mentioned both, but on several UK sites, I saw folks recommend using chickens to get rid of buttercup. 

I certainly wouldn't want to get chickens, let them loose, and have them get sick. 

What have your experiences been with invasive/poisonous weeds?  Will the chickens eat around them?  Destroy them with scratching and pecking? 

Thanks!

post #2 of 7

I dont know that i would get chickens to to take out weeds, but they would help, also have you considered guineas? they do a pretty good jod eaten weed seeds as well        also chickens and guinea, usually wont eat thing that make them sick                                   welcome-byc


Edited by cw - 6/6/09 at 12:16am
weather will be weather,   weather ya like it , or not
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weather will be weather,   weather ya like it , or not
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post #3 of 7

From my experience, a chicken will destroy any and everything that is green that ain't over 4ft tall !!!!

Living on my little 2 acre spread with 15 chickens, 3 cats, 2 dogs, and a miniature horse.
The ten most dangerous words in the English language are "Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." Ronald Reagan.
If I mis-spell something, just act like I didn't.

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Living on my little 2 acre spread with 15 chickens, 3 cats, 2 dogs, and a miniature horse.
The ten most dangerous words in the English language are "Hi, I'm from the government, and I'm here to help." Ronald Reagan.
If I mis-spell something, just act like I didn't.

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post #4 of 7

I keep the edge of my fence clean by getting the chickens to see me throw some scratch feed in the area I want them to weed! Works better than a gas or elc :)weedeater

There is room for all Gods creatures----right next to the mashed
potatoes
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There is room for all Gods creatures----right next to the mashed
potatoes
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post #5 of 7

Chicken will eat anything that dont eat them first...LOL  If I was you I would think of getting China Geese I saw them eat a 40'x50' run/pen that had grass 18" high down to dirt in less that a week.

http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/Geese/BRKChinas.html

Chris

 

NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

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NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

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post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the feedback all.  I will have to read up on the Chinese geese. 

They look like they could kick the butts of the neighbors' cats.  My main concern with the free range chickens is that we have outdoor cats and coyotes in the neighborhood.  I assume the coyotes would only be a problem at night, when the chickens would be safe in their coop, but the cats are always lurking around.

post #7 of 7

Alcyone, I wouldn't expect chickens to get rid of tansy. Would anything eat that? Maybe there's some kind of caterpillar . . .

The UCDavis lists both of these plants as causing dermatitis. "The juice, sap, or thorns of these plants may cause a skin rash or irritation."

Creeping buttercup, UCDavis lists as "Minor Toxicity: Ingestion of these plants may cause minor illnesses . . ."

Buttercup is a problem around here in hay fields, usually where there is plenty of ground moisture. It causes inflammation in the digestive track of cattle. Perhaps, there's more concern about it for grazing animals and in their winter feed.

Steve


Edited by digitS' - 6/7/09 at 9:23am
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