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Nightshade and Chickens

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi all, first time poster, so I hope this is the best forum for the topic..I wasn't sure where it fit best.


I've never raised chickens before, but me and my wife are looking into getting started somewhat soon.

My question is whether or not nightshade is a big concern for chickens.  Our back yard has tons of silverleaf nightshade, which I understand is toxic.


Does anyone have experience with chickens that have access to nightshade?  I would be building a coop with enclosed run, but I was hoping to be able to let the hens roam around the garden while I'm out there working. Will the chickens stay away from the nightshade or would I have to seclude them to the run?  I could clear the run area of all nightshade and keep a close eye on it to make sure it doesn't come back.


I don't know, is a backyard plagued with nightshade a deal breaker for having chickens?  The weed is all over the place where I live, and I know there are other people in the area that raise chickens, so I can't imagine it's a huge problem.  But I don't want to bring in any birds until I know for sure.

post #2 of 4

Type in nightshade in the search area above and you'll see plenty of posts about it. 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

sorry, I should know better....


I did indeed find a lot of posts on the topic, though there was much conflicting information.  I imagine it has to do with how many different species are in the nightshade family.


I did finally find specific info on silverleaf nightshade.  It was in a Texas AgriLife report written about plants toxic to livestock in the Trans-Pecos region. Although, I imagine there are some plants in the report that have a wider range, so this could be of help to people outside Texas too.


Here's the link:


Looks like the skinny on silverleaf nightshade is that it is known to poison chickens, among other livestock.  However, they say due to it's unpalatable taste, it's rarely a problem unless an animal is forced to eat it.  So with plenty other options, I believe any backyard chicken will do just fine.  I'll still be pulling mine up as I walk through the yard though.

post #4 of 4

Good.. glad you found what you needed!

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