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What is toxic to chickens? - Page 2

post #11 of 27

Chocolate is not toxic to chickens.  I fed my New Hampshire rooster Mario over a pound of chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate chips.  It had no detrimental effect on him.

Next time I get ticked off at him, I will fire up the scalding pot and break out the avocados for another test.

On citrus: The rumor that citrus is poisonous to chickens comes from a test done by the Florida Department of Agriculture to see if orange pulp (left over from making orange juice) could be used as chicken feed.  The result was that orange pulp is not complete nutrition for chickens and feeding it exclusively will cause a drop in egg production. The department put out a finding that "citrus pulp should not be used as chicken feed."

This got interpreted as "Don't feed citrus to chickens"

This got mis-interpreted as "Citrus is poisonous to chickens"

Another study shows that orange pulp is NOT poisonous, at it substituted maize for it to grow broilers.

post #12 of 27

the thing i've figured out about lists like the ones listing all the things toxic to chickens, is that if there is any negative side effect, whether it be from flatulence to death, they will list it as toxic.

these things all existed in the wild before we came along and domesticated the chickens, and chickens weren't dying from them.  more than likely a little bit isn't going to hurt anything, and they somehow avoid deadly things (whether it tastes bad to them, whatever).

i'm sure you'll find something in any pasture that is listed in somebody's list somewhere as being toxic to cows.  it's unavoidable.  just because that plant is there, doesn't mean you're going to have dead animals.

so, moral of the story: take "lists: with a grain of salt (and I'm sure someone will tell you salt is toxic, too  lol  )

edited to say: the more i think about it, these lists are like hand sanitizer to overzealous parents.  the kids would be fine without the sanitizer (i grew up on a farm, went to school, did everything without hand sanitizer and am just fine - mostly), but these parents "have" to protect them from everything, even themselves.

use common sense any everything will be fine

Edited by Saltysteele - 4/28/11 at 3:45pm
post #13 of 27

I know for a fact that onions and garlic are not toxic to chickens. Mine get both of these from time to time. I've also never noticed any change in the taste of the eggs that so many people claim will happen when they're fed onion & garlic.


post #14 of 27

makes them taste better, if anything
you could add butter, salt, and pepper:lol:

post #15 of 27

When I was growing up my mom used to toss everything into the chicken run.  Kitchen scraps, garden scraps and worms during the summers.  In late summer she would use a scythe to cut tall grasses, wheat, and weeds that had gone to seed.  She stacked the grasses neatly in piles in the barn, tied them with twine and hung them from the rafters.  All through the winter the chickens only got kitchen scraps and dried grasses with the seed tops.  Once in a while the grass would contain mice, bugs, or snakes as a special treat.  She never purchased anything to feed the chickens.  She never, ever provided grit for them.  They were free range and got all the grit necessary from the soil and our gravel driveway.

We had the healthiest chickens in the area.

That's our grandson "Doopy" peeking out of the barn.  He was afraid of the big green tractor.
That's our grandson "Doopy" peeking out of the barn.  He was afraid of the big green tractor.
post #16 of 27
Originally Posted by Celtic Chick View Post

Common Foods and Plants Toxic to Chickens
raw potatoes and peels
citrus fruits
rhubarb leaves
apple seeds
potato, eggplant, and tomato plants/leaves
mistletoe or holly berries
raw beans
sweet pea plant
stone fruit pits

Read more:

My chickens are going crazy eating the green tops to my onions that they can reach through the garden fence, is this toxic to them or just the onions themselves???

post #17 of 27

I just planted a few hops vines around my coop for future shade. I am pretty sure they can eat the "hops" themselves. But what about the leaves? the plants will be twined in and around the coop fencing so they will undoubtably will get some leaves.

post #18 of 27

Well call it beginners luck based on sheer ignorance.  We happened to build our chx run next to the rhubarb - during the building stages the rhubarb grew and grew, and one plant came up right in the run, we put the chicks in, didn't really think about until  they started eating it, but by then it was too late, and we were ready to count our losses.  However, the rubarb didn't stand a chance against the chickens!  No harm, no fowl - they are alive and kicking - can't say that for the rhubarb plant - they literally ate it into the ground.  So, I am happy to say we have a happy ending!

post #19 of 27
Like many "toxic" plants, it takes a hefty dose of rhubarb leaves to kill. This site mentions 11 pounds of leaves to kill a 145 lb. human based on testing done with rats so that would translate to a third of a pound of leaves for a five-pound chicken (if we presume that poultry has the same sensitivity as a rat).
That's a pretty big pile of leaves! Now, that doesn't mean there won't be any side effects from lower doses. People have been sickened by eating the leaves and I'd guess they ate much less than 11 pounds of them. So, I put my rhubarb leaves in the compost.
post #20 of 27
We just had 9 guinea keets (5 weeks old) die. We believe from avocado... Wish I'd looked this up before we got them... The chicks are all fine.
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