Can chickens take out invasive weeds (i.e. creeping buttercup)?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Alcyone, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. Alcyone

    Alcyone New Egg

    Jun 5, 2009
    Hi folks,

    I'm looking for a natural way to fight the invasive weeds on the back half of my property, and I'm wondering if chickens could be the answer. I planted some fruit trees back there, but mostly it's just weed heaven. I'd love to improve the soil quality while getting rid of the weeds.

    Creeping buttercup and tansy ragwort are two of the biggest culprits, and I've read contradicting information on the web. A big list of "plants that are toxic to chickens" mentioned both, but on several UK sites, I saw folks recommend using chickens to get rid of buttercup.

    I certainly wouldn't want to get chickens, let them loose, and have them get sick.

    What have your experiences been with invasive/poisonous weeds? Will the chickens eat around them? Destroy them with scratching and pecking?

  2. cw

    cw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 11, 2009
    green co.
    I dont know that i would get chickens to to take out weeds, but they would help, also have you considered guineas? they do a pretty good jod eaten weed seeds as well also chickens and guinea, usually wont eat thing that make them sick [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2009
  3. jjdward

    jjdward How bout them DAWGS!

    May 4, 2009
    Buchanan, Georgia
    From my experience, a chicken will destroy any and everything that is green that ain't over 4ft tall !!!!
  4. tracker1860

    tracker1860 Out Of The Brooder

    May 25, 2009
    Seale Alabama
    I keep the edge of my fence clean by getting the chickens to see me throw some scratch feed in the area I want them to weed! Works better than a gas or elc :)weedeater
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
  6. Alcyone

    Alcyone New Egg

    Jun 5, 2009
    Thanks for the feedback all. I will have to read up on the Chinese geese.

    They look like they could kick the butts of the neighbors' cats. My main concern with the free range chickens is that we have outdoor cats and coyotes in the neighborhood. I assume the coyotes would only be a problem at night, when the chickens would be safe in their coop, but the cats are always lurking around.
  7. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Alcyone, I wouldn't expect chickens to get rid of tansy. Would anything eat that? Maybe there's some kind of caterpillar . . .

    The UCDavis lists both of these plants as causing dermatitis. "The juice, sap, or thorns of these plants may cause a skin rash or irritation."

    Creeping buttercup, UCDavis lists as "Minor Toxicity: Ingestion of these plants may cause minor illnesses . . ."

    Buttercup is a problem around here in hay fields, usually where there is plenty of ground moisture. It causes inflammation in the digestive track of cattle. Perhaps, there's more concern about it for grazing animals and in their winter feed.

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2009

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