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Plants Chickens Don't Eat

Gardening with chickens can be a pleasure as well as a frustration and challenge. Here is a list of plants from my garden (USDA zone 9 - 10/...
  1. GardeNerd
    Chicken Resistant Plants
    Gardening with chickens can be a pleasure as well as a frustration and challenge. Here is a list of plants from my garden (USDA zone 9 - 10/ Sunset zone 22) that I have had success with my chickens leaving alone. For a dramatically different climate, consider looking into deer resistant plants for your zone. A lot of these are also drought tolerant due the water restrictions we have locally. They are not in any particular order so far. Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the list based on reports from other BYCers, members at the Easygarden.com, or gardenweb.com
    Chickens will eventually eat almost any plants if there is nothing else to forage around or no other food source.

    The List From my Yard


    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Salivias ( a lot of varieties!)
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    Four O'clock (not pictured yet)


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    Nandina Domestica (heavenly bamboo)
    Caution: This is considered mildly toxic, but not deadly. I cut off the berries to keep the chickens from eating it if they fall to the ground.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Clivia (mildly toxic-not deadly)

    Purple Heuchera (coral bells, but they ate my green leafed coral bells)



    Lambs Ears

    Leather leaf ferns

    Calla lilies

    Asperagas fern

    Japanese Anenome

    Amarillys Belladona "naked ladies" (Mildly toxic-not deadly)


    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    Mother in Law's Tounge

    Limonium (sea lavender) My neighbor's chickens did eat it.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    (not pictured yet)
    Mexican Sage
    Sedum "Autumn Joy"
    Jade (not pictured yet/ Mildly toxic-not deadly)
    Citrus (not pictured yet) *my neighbor's chickens eat it because there is nothing else green in the yard. Mine don't touch it.

    List based on other gardeners reports:

    plants in the mint family (salvias, sages, and mints)
    virginia creeper
    autumn clematis
    creeping phlox

    Some of my other advice if you are just starting out with chickens in your garden....
    I always put out lots yummy treats a couple of times a day and give them constant access to their feeder and waterer. My chickens spend a large part of their day foraging on grass on the lawn. small backyard

    My veggie garden and other fragile plants are fenced off from the area the chickens get to occasionally roam. I do allow them access to those areas either in their pen (a dog exercise pen with bird netting) or when I am able to supervise. At the end of the growing season, I allow them in to help "clean up."

    I have also been using chicken wire around the base of the root zones of plants when I first put them in the ground. I lay it on the ground with any sharp parts trimmed off or poked in the ground. Then I put landscape staples through it to hold it in place and cover with mulch. The chickens avoid scratching over it, but are able to walk on it. This prevents the chickens from digging the plants out before the plants are firmly rooted in the ground. I do still leave many areas open for digging and dust bathing.
    Not everything in my yard has been chicken proof. The chickens did dig out all of my narcissis bulbs, destroyed that area and ate the lower grape leaves on my vines, ate the alstromeria flowers blossoms (my favorites!), the Fushia flowers, and any raspberries they could reach through out the yard. A lot of my other backyard plants are larger and established so they could handle more abuse.

    *For tons of more pictures, how I garden with chickens around, or other details of my urban gardening, hobbies, and coop, visit my blog @ hanburyhouse.com

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  1. sluggospud
    For years, mine left the agapanthus leaves alone, but ate the flowers. This year they decided to start mowing down the leaves too :-(.

    Irises (and bulbs) were gone the first year.

    The plants they haven't touched are rosemary and rock roses (cistus).
  2. Scatterknit
    My host as were shredded by the chickens. They were gorgeous. Not anymore. [​IMG]
  3. littlelizzy123
    Most of my problems haven't come from actual eating of the plants (unless they are veggies), but the digging they do in the soil to make their "chicken bowls". They love to wallow around underneath things, tearing up the roots so completely the plant dies.
  4. peastix
    My chickens eat agapanthus.They're pretty tough plants though so I'm pretty sure they'll sprout again. At the moment they are little stumps. Doesn't help that they are near the chosen spot to dustbathe so are always in the line of fire so to speak.
  5. CarlyLu
    Asparagus fern warning: My bantie Cochins and Silkie decimate them. I've moved some up high, and they'll actually jump 3 feet up in the air to nab the leaves. They are free range and have a lot of food options, but aparagus ferns are near the top of their list.
  6. poult
  7. ChaddiX
    Staples in my Chicken Habitat:
    Yucca or Joshua Trees
    Agave, Aloe (and many of the other sharp Succelents)
    Palms trees (Washingtonia, Oliva, Sago...)
  8. chicknmania
    Maybe chickens don't eat them, but peafowl love chive buds, apparently. Mine ate off every chive flower bud I had. :(
  9. mymilliefleur
    Great article! My chickens usually don't eat my plants, but they do enjoy digging them up, *sigh* Another plant that my chickens don't bother is Echinacea (purple cone flower). They won't eat it, and it's hard for them to dig up.
  10. TheSpiceGirls
    My chickens eat my Asparagus Ferns. I have to put metal rings around them to give them a fighting chance. I think every set of hens has their own individual tastes. Silly Girls!

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