Alfalfa, poisonous or good??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by skillswife, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. skillswife

    skillswife Chillin' With My Peeps

    556
    4
    131
    Jul 19, 2010
    SW Montana
    We raise alfalfa hay and have lots of sprouted alfalfa plants throughout the ranch. We plan on free range during the day. I read on one list of plants poisonous to chickens that Alfalfa is one of them. But then I have also read that some of you let your chickens have small amounts of hay including alfalfa. Can you please clear this up for me?
     
  2. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

    5,312
    212
    311
    Jun 11, 2010
    York PA
    I feed mine alfalfa leaves every morning. I hadn't heard that it is poisonous to chickens. I think they would love eating the sprouts. I think the only thing that you have to worry about with alfalfa or hay is the harder stems causing impacted crop. That is why I only feed them the leaves.
     
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    5,719
    42
    283
    May 8, 2007
    Wisconsin
    I feed it to mine. Like anything, if you withhold all other food and only feed alfalfa, I'm sure they could have a problem. As part of a diet, a lot of people feed it.
     
  4. grammypam

    grammypam Chillin' With My Peeps

    298
    1
    111
    Mar 16, 2010
    Oronoco,Minnesota
    I am sprouting some for my chickens right now. Next doing red clover sprouts. [​IMG]
     
  5. Organics North

    Organics North Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,849
    30
    171
    Dec 30, 2009
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    The only thing I could think of that would be poisonous would be if the seeds are treated with something, and they are eating young sprouts before the poison washed off.

    My birds have been eating everything from alfalfa sprouts to hay to pellets... It is a great food source for chickens!

    ON
     
  6. Kelsey2017

    Kelsey2017 Chillin' With My Peeps

    146
    2
    101
    Jan 30, 2011
    Two Harbors, MN
    My horses get it and my chickens get all the shake from the bale of the day. It has vitamins and calcium in it which they need especially in winter, I have never heard of it being bad for anyone.
     
  7. motoclown

    motoclown Chillin' With My Peeps

    297
    2
    111
    May 27, 2010
    New Castle, PA
  8. Momagain1

    Momagain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 13, 2011
    Central IL
    well darn! I live next to a field that harvests alfalfa, soybeans and corn..dependent on which season it is etc..

    we were just gonna take some alfalfa after they cut it and use it.. (we have a very giving/easy relationship w/the farmer..he is
    super active in our Church and he farms on about 3 ft of our land..so its not an issue for us to grab alfalfa as treats..

    what about the harvested plants of soybeans and corn stalks/leaves??
     
  9. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,246
    19
    171
    Nov 10, 2010
    Congress, AZ
    My Coop
    Hmmm.....hope it isn't bad for them.

    I picked up a bale about 3 weeks ago and my chickens have been eating it. I read it adds omega to the eggs and makes the yolks darker. So far I haven't noticed any ill effects, but will keep a close watch.

    They seem to like it. They scratch and pick out the leaves and flowers, aren't interested in the stems/hay part.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2011
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    11,005
    423
    328
    Jun 1, 2009
    Ohio
    No, Alfalfa isn't poisonous to chickens and in fact a lot of your better poultry feed will have Alfalfa Meal in it.

    Chris
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by