Can chickens eat money plant (aka honesty or Lunaria annua)?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by scratchpeck, May 10, 2011.

  1. scratchpeck

    scratchpeck New Egg

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    One of the reasons I want chickies is to clear some weedy patches in the yard using a tractor. Or house used to be a rental and has lots of weeds - dandelions, and LOTS of money plant. I've looked in all the chicken resources I can find (no info there) and checked poisonous plant lists - one source said the roots of plants that haven't flowered are edible (I would assume they meant by humans...not hungry enough to try that), most other sources list them as non-toxic to humans and one mentioned non-toxic for livestock.

    Does that mean I can turn the chickens loose on the weedy bits with dandelions and lunaria and hope they clear the areas down to bare soil? It is really awful - lunaria spread by roots, it's one of those where any little bit of root left seems to grow again. We want to plant raspberries, and they do NOT do well with weed competition.

    Anybody done this? Will it work for weed eradication? And be safe for the girls? Mind you, these would just be snacks and a place to scratch and dig - plenty of worms and bugs, too - and they will still get their regular feed and treat. At least I know the dandelions are safe for them.....
     
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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    I'm not familiar with lunaria... someone on here has to be...with almost 90,000 members.
     
  3. littlefork

    littlefork Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Money plant is in the mustard family and the leaves are edible. The seeds are edible also, although I have heard they are kind of bitter. Some people use the leaves in salads, so they should not bother the chickens.
     
    bonsaiherb likes this.
  4. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They ate all of my money plants and now I'm broke
     
    paintedChix likes this.
  5. scratchpeck

    scratchpeck New Egg

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    Quote:I'd be thrilled to be that kind of broke!

    If anyone wants money plants, they are free for the taking! (and you'll wish you'd never laid eyes on them....)

    Thanks, littlefork, I'll get the coop and tractor built and put the girls to work. Raspberries, yum!
     
  6. GiddyMoon

    GiddyMoon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like you have a lot of free greens for the chickens [​IMG]
     
  7. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unless you have a lot of chickens, don't count on them clearing a lot of dandelions and lunaria for you. I have a yard full of delicious dandelion and six chickens out running around and I still have a yard full of delicious dandelion. It's not suitable for a solo food for them and they'll only eat as much as they want to, which isn't too much.

    Mary
     
  8. bonsaiherb

    bonsaiherb Out Of The Brooder

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    Was just thinking the same thing as my "variegated" Lunaria is just emerging EVERYWHERE.
    Lovely plant but it is a weed. In the
    Brassicaceae or Cruciferae family it is marginally edible as the seed can be made into a mustard substitute.
     

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