Bracken Fern forest! Ideas?


10 Years
Apr 11, 2009
Key Peninsula, Washington
My question concerns Bracken Ferns and the fact that they are toxic.

We have built our chicken house and are preparing to build our covered run. The area we are planning to enclose is large area and it is completely infested with Bracken Ferns. My husband took the DR to the area 3 months ago, but you'd never know it. The ferns grow so fast! They are 6 feet tall. They are beautiful, but toxic to chickens. He plans to take the DR to them again (amazing machine!) but we know they will come back. They're roots wont come up with them when pulled or dug, and I think ferns reproduce with spores if I was awake during that part of my college botony class 20 years ago.

I would love any ideas from people out there about how to rid them. I can't use poison because chickens will be in there. I am sure they will be interested in the frawn sprouts when the come up. Are all parts toxic?
I don't know about the particular species of fern you are referring to. I live in NH and have many fern varieties growing, and my chickens never touch the ferns even when they are sprouting. They use them for cover, but do not ingest them. Are you sure your birds will eat them?
just plain vinegar works
without adding anything to is(works for weeds in your sidewalk cracked or driveway lol)
It is only Bracken Fern, also called Brake Fern. They have a main stem with wide frawns growing along the stem. If you are stung by nettles, you can break off a stem and rub it on the affected area, and it nearly eliminates the stinging. I have used it and it works. They are nice looking, just invasive and a worry for us regarding the chickens. Oh, and my husband just corrected me, he said they are 7 feet tall!

We live near Puget Sound in Washington State, and there are a lot of fern varieties here, too, some even growing in trees. Brackens will grow in the forest but seem to prefer more open areas. Bracken and Sword ferns are our most common and prolific varieties here. They seem to like our mild climate.

I don't know if the chickens will eat them, but I'd hate to lose our new flock. I'd forgotten about vinegar, we have known it to be used for weed control before. Good idea, thank you! We like non-chemical solutions, even when the chickens are not involved. After my husband blasts them with the DR, I'll hit the stubs with vinegar and see if that does the trick.

Thank you all for such fantastic ideas!
A DR is like a lawn mower on steroids. They will cut grass and brush, even small trees! I can't even begin to express what an amazing device they are, we can finally keep our land under control with it. Stuff grows so fast and aggressively around here. We love our, worth every penny!

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