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Can Chickens eat foxtail weeds?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chew593, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. Chew593

    Chew593 Songster

    The yard next to my run is spilling through the fence and most of the weeds are foxtails. Are these harmful to chickens?

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Okay, I went and looked up foxtail to see what it looks like. We have a weed similiar to that around here, though I don't know for sure if they are in the same family or not.
    With the one we have, I've never seen my chickens eat it. They tend to leave stuff alone that's not good for them.
    Here's some info. that I found that says it may be a problem for animals without ingesting it:

    The most common locations for foxtail entrapment include the webbing between the toes, the ear canal, and the nose. Their presence causes extreme discomfort. These plant lawn invaders often lead to bleeding, infection, and in the case of ear canal migration, ruptured ear drums. Foxtail foreign bodies are also found lodged in the pharynx, lungs, behind eyelids, stomach, small intestine, trachea, and have even migrated into the brain. They affect pets, livestock, and wild animals.
  3. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Songster

    Apr 11, 2009
    you must live some where it is fall
    fox tail is a weed that we used to get in the oat fields after oat harvest in july
    in Iowa
    I don't understand the expanation of it in the last post???
    Was that post some kind of joke?
    I know that cattle grased the oat pasture all summer and never died and gave good milk
    as for chickens they never got any where near the oat fields
    try taking something to kill out the fox tail before the chickens can get at it

    I google.com it and it says this
    any of the weedy grasses in the genera Alopecurus and Setaria of the family Poaceae. There are about 25 species of Alopecurus, distributed throughout the north temperate zone. Most species are perennial weeds, with dense, cylindrical, often brushlike, flower clusters that resemble foxesÂ’ tails. Meadow foxtail (A. pratensis), which is native to Eurasia, is used as a forage grass in northern North America; it stands 30 to 80 centimetres (about 12 to 30 inches) high and has a light-green flower cluster 7

    Fromfoxtail (plant) -- Britannica Online Encyclopedia Britannica online encyclopedia article on foxtail (plant), any of the weedy grasses in the genera Alopecurus and Setaria of the family Poaceae.
    www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/215455/foxtail - 51k - Cached

    if you go there you will see herbicide for foxtail
    it will show a combine in a wheat field

    Creeping Meadow Foxtail Plant Guide | Grass Plant Guides View our plant guide for Creeping Meadow Foxtail. Includes information on uses, description, adaptation, establishment, status and management.
    www.gardenguides.com/plants/plantguides/grasses/plantguide.asp?symbol=ALAR - 30k - Cached - Similar pages
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    It was not a joke! [​IMG]
    I was simply providing the information I found on foxtail @ http://www.aztecanimalclinic.com/foxtails.htm
    stating the fact that my chickens don't mess with it. My chickens go everywhere on this farm. They eat what they like and avoid what they don't.
  5. Chew593

    Chew593 Songster

    This is an image of what I'm talking about, and they are VERY harmful to dogs and other animals with hairy feet. I know I spent several HUNDRED dollars getting them removed from my springer spaniels toes. I just want to know if they can hurt my birds if they eat them.
    They are in my neighbors yard and I don't want to spray along that fence line because it's also where I keep my compost pile and I don't want weed killer all over back there.

  6. Kev

    Kev Crowing

    Jan 13, 2008
    Sun City, California
    For what it's worth, these are all over locally too. My free range chickens keep the yard completely bare of any edibles.. and it includes those grasses. However they eat the seedlings & the leaves as they come up only.. they have no interest in the hard stems or the seedheads.

    Haven't seen any harm from exposure to the 'adult' foxtails in the past to any birds though. So at least it's not poisonous to chickens..
  7. Chew593

    Chew593 Songster

    thank you, that's exactly what I was looking for. I will eventually let my babies free range, and I'm looking forward to not having such a weed problem. Thanks again for the info.

  8. Glenda L Heywood

    Glenda L Heywood Songster

    Apr 11, 2009
    actually I ment take a corn knife or a hoe and cut them from where the chickens can get them
    they then would have to grow again
    I didn't mean to spray any chemicals
    our chickens never bothered them
    hopefully you will be okay
    sorry about the dogs feet

    I know hunting dogs some times get them in their feet and have problems

    Even if you have one of thos large file butchering knives I have cut them away with such a large knife

    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009

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