bracken

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by fiddlebanshee, Aug 4, 2011.

  1. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all, We're about to get our first chickens and our coop and run is in an area where there is a large patch of bracken fern. We've cleaned away all ferns so that they cannot reach and eat the ferns, but there may still be spores in/on the ground. We've read that bracken is poisonous for chickens, so these are my questions

    1. how poisonous is it? Will they drop dead after eating the spores? Is it gradual? What symptoms?
    2. will they transmit whatever is poisonous in the eggs? We've read that bracken spores can cause cancer, is that a concern if you eat the eggs or meat of a chicken that was exposed to this?
    3. if we need to get rid of it all, how best to do this without extensive use of pesticides?

    Since we're new to this I don't even know if the information on the internet about the severity of the danger of bracken ferns is even accurate or if someone is just trying to create a scare.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
     
  2. LarryPQ

    LarryPQ Easter Hatch!!

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    The chickens will likely scratch up any sprouts that immerge, so the spores may not even have a chance to take.

    But other than that, I know nothing about ferns. They don't exist here [​IMG]
     
  3. KDK1

    KDK1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Never heard of any dangers... But have never researched this either. I would definitely research to find the truth before exposing the chickens to a potential threat.
     
  4. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Bracken is associated with stomach cancer in people (even if cooked); however I doubt chickens will eat it. Even if they did the consequences are unlikely to be fast.
    If they never have any greens to eat, perhaps they'll give it a try, but it's unlikely to taste nice to them. Still it sounds a good idea to take it out of the run. If it comes back, you could pull it out before any damage was done, I would think. [​IMG]

    cheers,
    Erica
     
  5. remuda1

    remuda1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Call your county extension office. They should have some good information on this for you [​IMG]
     
  6. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Call your county extension office. They should have some good information on this for you

    I did. They were not particularly helpful.[​IMG]
     
  7. chi-rn

    chi-rn Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. fiddlebanshee

    fiddlebanshee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 11, 2010
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    Listed as poisonous to chickens at this (http://www.poultryhelp.com/toxicplants.html) and several other poultry sites....

    I know that and stated that in my op. My question was if they accidentally ate either the spores (which will be in and on the ground) or a leaf that 's left will it have an effect on the eggs and the meat and/or die from it.​
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2011

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