Bermuda Buttercup toxic to chickens?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by broodybird, Apr 23, 2014.

  1. broodybird

    broodybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2014
    Orange County, Ca
    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,, 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. :(
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    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.
    1 person likes this.
  3. broodybird

    broodybird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2014
    Orange County, Ca
    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! :)
  4. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    I agree with Judy. Mine forage, but never pay attention to any of the poisonous plants in the yard.

    1 person likes this.
  5. leghornsnorcal

    leghornsnorcal New Egg

    Feb 3, 2016
    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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