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Bermuda Buttercup toxic to chickens?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I have some chicks in a brooder now, they will be out in a couple of weeks. In preparation for their "big move," I've been clearing out a couple areas in the yard for when the girls can finally can go free range, even only for a few hours a day.

 

And welcome spring with all its glorious weeds!!!! lol We have an overwhelming plethora of Bermuda Buttercup (Oxalis pes-caprae). All over. Everywhere. Ugh. And according to this list, http://www.poultryhelp.com/toxicplants.html#V, Bermuda Buttercup is considered toxic to chickens.

 

Just how toxic? (Is that a stupid question?). Do I need to excavate my entire property? Impossible. It would be easier to give up my girls (not really). Or just clear out a few spot areas and keep the girls on a "tight leash?" This weed is pervasive during spring and pops up practically overnight, continuing it's procreation well into early summer. I will never completely get rid of it, but I'd be heartbroken if something happened to any of them that I could have prevented. :(

Welsummer, Buff Orp, Black/Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Olive Egger, Blue Wheaten Ameraucana, Calico Bantam Cochin, Polish/Ameraucana and Sultan/Ameraucana
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Welsummer, Buff Orp, Black/Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Olive Egger, Blue Wheaten Ameraucana, Calico Bantam Cochin, Polish/Ameraucana and Sultan/Ameraucana
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post #2 of 5

You might want to just watch them, see if they show any interest in the plants.  Mine live in a fenced area full of multiple plants.  They eat the grass, of course, but few if any of the weeds, so that we have to mow it a few times a year to keep it below their heads.  I have certain bushes I know are toxic that the chickens used to hang around daily; I never saw them eat from these, and they never got sick that I could tell.  I'm not saying they would never eat something poisonous, but they certainly don't eat every plant out there.

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you Judy. Makes sense. I imagine they'll leave some plants alone, just because others seem more interesting. You can bet I'll be keeping a close eye on their behavior! :)

Welsummer, Buff Orp, Black/Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Olive Egger, Blue Wheaten Ameraucana, Calico Bantam Cochin, Polish/Ameraucana and Sultan/Ameraucana
Reply
Welsummer, Buff Orp, Black/Blue Laced Red Wyandotte, Olive Egger, Blue Wheaten Ameraucana, Calico Bantam Cochin, Polish/Ameraucana and Sultan/Ameraucana
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post #4 of 5

I agree with Judy.  Mine forage, but never pay attention to any of the poisonous plants in the yard.

 

Chris

post #5 of 5

My chickens love Bermuda Buttercup--it grows great in my yard.  I have read that it can hurt livestock in large quantities because it contains oxalic acid (wood sorrel does too), but they have been eating it for quite a while and never had trouble.  It comes up here in winter and spring, and for the past year I have given them buttercup. It could be that they never eat enough quantity to have issues.  But something else I read said that it could cause long term problems as well.  I also read that it can prevent calcium from being absorbed, which would definitely be a problem for laying hens.

 

I would love to know if anyone out there knows more about it.  

 

Probably a good idea to avoid it as a general rule or only feed it sporadically, even though my chickens really like it.  I am going to stop letting them have it as frequently as I used to.

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