Alfalfa Hay: poisonous?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KristyAz, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. KristyAz

    KristyAz Chillin' With My Peeps

    871
    12
    148
    Jan 29, 2011
    Mishawaka, Indiana
    I am into my second bale of alfalfa hay for my run floor and just reading the link to poisonous plants for poultry, alfalfa is first on the list.

    What have I done or am I reading this wrong? [​IMG]
     
  2. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    5,312
    211
    311
    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    I haven't seen alfalfa on a poisonous plants list for chickens but honestly have never looked. I read so many posts that alfalfa leaves were good for your chickens that I started feeding them to my birds. I have been feeding them the leaves for almost a year now every day and they are happy and healthy and my yolks are a nice orange color. [​IMG]
     
  3. DLS

    DLS Chillin' With My Peeps

    If alfalfa is poison to hens , Mine would be dead. They love it. dry or fresh.
    AND WHERE IS THE LINK??
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  4. ellieroo

    ellieroo Chillin' With My Peeps

    582
    1
    151
    Mar 22, 2008
  5. Teach97

    Teach97 Bantam Addict

    Nov 12, 2008
    Hooker, OK
    you have fallen for the I read it on the internet so it must be true disease...

    You should bring whatever remaining alfalfa you have so I can feed it to my animals...you might also need to bake some cookies...and brownies...it is kinda like shooting a horse that has a broken leg. Noone really knows what it is supposed to do but that is what yu do so if the horse isn't any better a week after you shoot it take it to the vet...and a cake....yellow cake with chocolate frosting....any extra snakes would be appreciated as well

    if you followed that....congratulations...seek counseling
     
  6. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    I found this...

    General poisoning notes:
    Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is an important forage and silage crop in Canada. However, under some circumstances, alfalfa can cause a variety of different toxic problems. Ingesting rapidly growing alfalfa at the vegetative to mid-bud stage can cause bloat in cattle and sheep (Hall and Majak 1989). Alfalfa has also caused photosensitization in cattle with white skin (MacDonald 1954). Alfalfa contains phytoestrogens which cause infertility in animals, including cattle and sheep. These compounds are also contained in some alfalfa pills that are found in health food stores, and these may cause problems in some cases (Cheeke and Schull 1985). Alfalfa also contains saponins that can interfere with the growth of poultry and thus reduce egg-laying (Fuller and McClintock 1986, Oakenfull and Sidhu 1989). Low saponin cultivars have been developed.
     
  7. KristyAz

    KristyAz Chillin' With My Peeps

    871
    12
    148
    Jan 29, 2011
    Mishawaka, Indiana
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  8. Buugette

    Buugette [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Cra

    May 26, 2009
    Bucks County, PA
    Seems to be everywhere... http://www.poultryhelp.com/toxic1.html

    Mine
    love it and are still alive...

    Edited to say: (ok... the link was easy to find... that is too bad... so many will get the wrong information)...
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  9. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    5,312
    211
    311
    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    Well I haven't noticed reduced egg laying. I get 5-7 eggs a day from my 7 hens. Of course this is not their "main food". I just put some on the ground in their run every day in the morning. When they are out free ranging they get some more when they get into the barn. IDK, I haven't had any problems at all with it. I have heard that if they try to eat too much of the stems they could get sour crop.
     
  10. DFCottage

    DFCottage Chillin' With My Peeps

    285
    0
    139
    Feb 17, 2008
    Montpelier, Virginia
    I give my off the track thoroughbreds a 50% alfalfa and 50% orchard grass mix. Alfalfa is very high in protein, calcium, and calories! It's especially good for the off the track TB's because they usually need to gain weight and have ulcers.. so think of alfalfa hay like maalox.. the calcium helps to coat the stomach and absorb excess stomach acid, thereby helping the ulcers to heal. I have given my chickens some of the hay before, and they especially love the tiny particles that are left after the horses eat the stems/leaves. Course, they'd prefer the leaves, if the horses leave any! But this has been going on now for months, and all the chickens are still alive. An 80 pound bale runs me about $9 here, and I've got to believe it would take the chickens quite a while to get through it I left a bale in the coop. However, I wouldn't want them to ignore their usual layer crumble and other veggies, so I only let them have the alfalfa occasionally as a treat.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by