I have searched everywhere on the net about this. I planted my hermit crabs chia seeds and they are growing really well. I thought since they grow so fast that it would be a good addition to the grazing crop for the chickens. I'll just keep the plants for the butterflies until we know for sure.
All I know is that you can eat the sprouts and the leaves have traditionally been used for tea. I'm not aware of any problem with eating the mature leaves. They aren't traditionally eaten that way, but that may have more to do with taste or texture of the mature leaves. You could always let the plants go to seed, since the seeds are such a powerhouse of nutrition.
Tomato plant foliage develops toxins when they're more mature and fruiting. Most plant foliage that I know of is usually either toxic or non-toxic, though. With the absence of any data on toxicity anywhere, plus the history of mature leaves being used for tea and the young sprout leaves being eaten, I think they are probably safe for your chickens to eat.
I tasted a leaf, lol. It tasted clean and minty with no bitterness. No wonder people use it for tea. If the chickens don't eat it I will have plenty to go with my bachelor's button, pine needle and catnip teas! Thanks for your reply.
This website says they are good for tea. http://permaculture.org.au/2009/04/06/chia-crop-potential-and-uses/
I have just attempted to plant them and they took off like crazy. They are in the mint family so are very easy to grow. Haven't tried the tea yet. Wish I knew if I could eat the greens then I would put them in my green smoothie for a minty flavor. Any one know?
Crazy..Just when I thought I had a new question, someone beats me to it! We got some free chia seeds from a nut place, and I am working on sprouting them..I was curious if the chickens could eat them too..My girls are so picky though, so we shall see if they even want it!