Chickens & Weed & Feed

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by mkearsley, May 16, 2011.

  1. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2010
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    My flock of 4 are allowed to free-range in the back yard any time they want. I've noticed a huge increase in dandilions over the past couple of years, and am now tired of having more dandilions than grass. So I want to apply some Weed & Feed to my backyard. However, I'm really concerned about the impact on my hens. I know that they like to eat anything they can get down their throats, so I'm planning on locking them up in their pen while I spread the weed & feed. However, I want to let them out as soon as possible, since I hate locking them up. Any suggestions on how soon I can let them free-range after treating my yard?

    I tried the non-chemical method of popping the dandilions out with with a gardening fork, but after filling a five-gallon bucket & not noticing a dent, I got a bit discouraged. I'm also sure that my lawn could use some fertilizer (more than random chicken droppings everywhere [​IMG] ), since my lawn hasn't been fertilized in over 5 years now.
     
  2. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the link. The original poster's worry is what I'm trying to avoid. They can't get out of their pen, so i'm not worried about escapees. It's the re-entry of foraging that I'm worried about. Any idea if the herbicide would be ingested if they ate the dying weed leaves? That's really my main concern. I know that the fertilizer will stay in the soil & will just encourage better grass growth, so I'm not too worried about nitrogen toxification. However, most herbicides work by being absorbed into the plant. Although I haven't seen my girls focus on eating the dandilions, I'd rather not risk it......
     
  3. HiddenHill Heretic

    HiddenHill Heretic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I try not to feed my chickens the Weed. Makes em a little slow, I reckon. [​IMG]
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:I think they might ingest it if they ate dying leaves but I'm no expert. Better be safe than sorry especially if you are going to eat eggs.

    If you can manage it, white vinegar will kill weeds if you spray it on, but you need to be patient and come back after a week to inspect the weeds, not just one day like with the commercial stuff. That is what I use in my yard. Also diluted bleach (but bleach needs to be washed off before ingestion by rain or hose, IMO).

    Also I get a lot of results when I search the internet for "organic weed and feed," but haven't tried the products listed.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
  5. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    We value the dandilions for a number of reasons. THe honey bees need them for making honey and we pull them to give to the chickens. I don't seem to have enough of them. If you were near by I'd offer to bring my kids to depopulate your lawn![​IMG]
     
  6. RaZ

    RaZ Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Caseville, MI
    Quote:Get a soil test kit from your local Extension office and have it analyzed. It will tell you exactly what nutrients you need and how much.

    Weed and Feed rarely works; it poisons the soil and the benefical bugs that live there. And your chickens will be ingesting that poison for a long time.
     
  7. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2010
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    Quote:Too bad you're on the wrong side of the country [​IMG] This is the first year I've really wanted to get rid of the dandilions since they are so prolific! I also like having a few in the yard for the bees & the sparrows (it was great watching them eat the seeds [​IMG] But I've got far to many now, more dandilions than grass in some spots
     
  8. Niss

    Niss Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank you!
    My mom always says "a weed is any plant that's growing where you don't want it to." Hence dandilions aren't weeds around here! I think they are so pretty and fun for the boy to blow. Although you have a right to the kind of lawn you want, too...just be glad you're not my nieghbor mkearsley!
     
  9. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 19, 2010
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    I checked out the chemical ingredients of the weed & feed up at Wal-Mart. It has dicamba in it. According to the label, there's no known acute toxicity to quail or ducks. And for grazing, the animals need to be kept out for one week. I think that is what I'll do - keep my poor chickens locked up for a week [​IMG] they are not going to be happy with me! When I have a chance I'll post a couple pictures of my lawn showing why I think I need to do something about the dandilions.......
     

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