Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sharol, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    The link at lists several clovers (including white clover -- all over my yard) as bad for chickens saying it causes photosensitivity. Is that true? I noticed that lots of people use clover for treats, and it is certainly in our native hay. Can someone clarify this?
  2. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Quote:White, Red and Yellow clover can be "toxic" when wet to a number of animal. I know in goats symptoms are-

    This is not a commonly reported toxicity, and is usually not serious even if toxicity occurs. It is unknown if the wet clover causes problems by contact or ingestion. The typical signs associated with alsike clover are gastrointestinal distress, including mild colic and diarrhea. Photodermatitis ("sunburn") is also possible, especially on the parts of the body that contact the wet grass (lower legs, mouth). Liver damage has been suggested, but not well-verified. This syndrome, which can be caused by plants in addition to alsike, is sometimes called "dew poisoning" or "trifoliosis".

    In rare cases, the sunburn may spread to the entire body, especially in lightly pigmented areas. Newly shorn sheep may be particularly at risk. Large amounts of alsike must be consumed before serious body-wide sunscald develops.

    Last edited: Jun 16, 2010
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    If you scroll all the way to the bottom of that "" list of toxic plants, you will see that the list is from: Reptile Keeper's Handbook.

    Obviously, clover is a valuable forage plant for livestock altho' maybe not reptiles, I don't know [​IMG]. There are much better lists from government agencies and from land-grant universities that are available to us.

    Here is one from the agriculture agency for the government of Canada, with what they say about white clover: Poisonous Plants Information System. Notice that information on the toxins are included and, importantly, cited incidents of livestock poisoning.

    You may appreciate that poultry is not included. If you search the site, you will find evidence that poultry have been poisoned by other plants, however.

  4. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    I wouldn't think chickens would ingest enough clover to cause problems. All the problems I've heard of with clover involved eating on clover filled pastures for at least a whole day but usually a couple days in a row. Chickens sample from various plants in between finding bugs rather than grazing one area heavily. Most grazing livestock also search out the clover since it's sweeter. My chickens haven't shown any extra interest in clover over grasses and other plants across the property.
  5. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I don't know what the science guys say but my chickens eat clover all day long without any ill effects. My CX are loving the flowers of the clover right now and eat it like popcorn. No photosensitivity noted in my flock. [​IMG]
  6. sharol

    sharol Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    Admire, KS
    It sounds like I don't need to worry about my white clover yard, then. It has been only 1 day since I ordered my chicks, and I don't even HAVE a coop yet, so I have time to figure all this out. Thanks everyone for the input.


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