Chickens and Poisonous Plants

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Juise, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. Juise

    Juise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2011
    Everywhere I drag the tractor, the chickens eat everything it covers. I have been using it to clear areas I want weeded out, and it's great! Mostly so far though it has been over tall grasses, (which they happily peck the seeds off!) Lambs Quarters, Dune Grasses, and lots of Milkweed, which they devour without apparent harm. So... if there ends up being a nightshade or lily of the valley in there, will they eat it and die?
  2. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    We let ours free range during the day and they don't bother with my Lily-of-the Valley and most nightshade family members.

    We have our garden fenced off from the chickens but have a few odd-ball, outside the garden tomato volunteers. The haven't bothered the plants at all but I suspect it's going to be a race to see which one of us gets the ripened fruit first!
  3. Yonaton

    Yonaton Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2007
    West TN
    They know what they can and can't eat. Just to test it, I caught a nice green katydid and one of those useless black with red stripes grasshoppers (poisonous), both were pretty much the same size, and dropped them both in amongst the one month old chicks in my coop. I was confident enough knowing that most birds are *born* with the knowledge of what they can and can't eat, to do this.

    They all instantly tried to get the katydid and ignored the black grasshopper like the plague.

    I've also done this with plants/seeds. I'm absolutely certain that they know what they're doing far better than we do. I've known this for many, many years without having to experiment, but I did it so that I could actually write what happened and express the findings with a good certainty
  4. Juise

    Juise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 4, 2011
    That's fantastic! Thank you [​IMG]
  5. ryanhodapp

    ryanhodapp Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2010
    St. Louis
    I wish mine would eat more weeds. They dont seem to like elephant ears, the low growing leafey weed that gets the little green spike on it. Mine dont eat the milkweed growing all over the fence either.

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