Coop near oleander bushes

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by GlendaleAZ, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. GlendaleAZ

    GlendaleAZ Hatching

    Dec 15, 2008
    I understand that oleanders are poisonous. Will chickens eat them anyway? I wanted to put my coop along my huge oleander bushes. Do I have to worry about the oleanders if I let them out to forage in my yard?

  2. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
  3. crazy hen quartet

    crazy hen quartet Songster

    Dec 20, 2008
    Chandler AZ

    Being in AZ we have lots of oleanders too. We actually built our run around a big yellow one so the girls would have some shade... and then we read they were poisonous (and not just a little, but BIG time) [​IMG] and so we cut it down faster than I thought possible and scoured the ground for seeds, leaves, flowers and sawdust.

    We also removed the other oleander bushes in our yard for when they free range.

    I'm shocked how common they are considering how dangerous they can be to animals and people. [​IMG]
  4. mscory

    mscory In the Brooder

    Mar 20, 2008
    I'm in Phx and have oleanders all around my back yard where my 4 chickens are. Yes, I know about how poisonous they are-the flowers more than the leaves. I had the same fears when we bought the house because I had a new baby (mammal, human type!) I don't think he ever ate a flower and I watched him like a hawk. I'm sure they are eating bits of leaves 'cause they make up a lot of the soil comosition. They do all seem healthy and produce at least 2 eggs every day. I think the plant affects the organs and life expectance is lower. I found no evidence that the plant will poison the eggs. If someone found that info, pls pass it on. Thanks! Cory
  5. crazy hen quartet

    crazy hen quartet Songster

    Dec 20, 2008
    Chandler AZ
    Mscory, I was on the fence about pulling them out until I read that they are not just toxic, but lethal in even small amounts.

    Here is some info:

    "As little as 0.005 percent of an animal’s body weight of dry leaves may be lethal - as few as 10 to 20 medium-sized leaves may kill an adult horse. It is toxic to all animal species, and many livestock and pets are poisoned, usually because they consumed oleander clippings or dead leaves. The green leaves of the growing shrubs are bitter and are therefore seldom eaten. The wilted clippings and dead leaves remain toxic, are palatable and are readily consumed. Compost containing oleander leaves has also been incriminated in poisoning."

    and another:
    "Consumption of this highly toxic plant causes cardiac failure. Signs in poisoned animals develop within 4 hours and can include:
    • Sudden death (no observed clinical signs)
    • Colic
    • Weakness
    • Lack of rumen muscle tone
    • Salivation
    • Very fast or slow heart rate

    I figured that if I won't drink the milk of a cow who gets injected with hormones, antibiotics and steroids I am certainly not risking the eggs of a chicken with access to oleander. Plus I'm not spending the time and money on some BYCs just to risk killing them with an ornamental plant...

    With animals and kids, that was enough for me. We removed the oleander and replaced them with honeysuckle.

  6. ArizonaDesertChicks

    ArizonaDesertChicks Eggstactic for Pretty Eggs

    Dec 8, 2008
    Glendale, AZ
    We removed all our oleandar bushes a few years ago when we decided to buy a couple miniature horses, so we don't have that issue now with our new chickens. I did notice a nice 'side effect' to removing the oleandar bushes & oleandar trees we had was that my seasonal springtime allergies almost dissappeared.

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