Daylilies- do your chickens eat them?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SeaChick, Nov 18, 2007.

  1. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    We're trying to figure out what we can plant near the coop now that the girls have eaten ALL the Hostas!
     
  2. eggydoom

    eggydoom New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2007
    Roanoke, Va
    Good luck! My small flock ate all the Hostas on the shady side of their run here too. My girls have eaten some daylilies, but the real problem is that they dig them up when they run free in the evenings. I re-plant them and they do okay (I'm sure they would do better if they weren't dug up at all!).

    They have also eaten, despite a chicken wire cage, their winter kale, dandelions I lovingly transplanted, and any number of other plants. I had to break up and move some Arundo (giant reed) and some Miscanthus, so I planted the clumps around the run to try this coming year. So far, the clumps haven't gotten excavated, and the girls don't like the mature stalks.

    I've had some success with small bushes (that will hopefully mature, despite hen attacks) and provide some needed shade along the west side of their run. Also, perennial sunflowers (Silphium and Helianthus sp) are pretty much indestructable.
     
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    thanks, eggydoom!
    My yard only gets about 3-4 hours sun during the summer when there are leaves on the trees. Do any of those plants you mentioned do OK in part sun? My daylilies are overrunning the front yard which is why I thought I'd try them back there... even of they don't flower much from lack of sun, they're pretty indestructible so they might be OK.
    Thanks!
    Stacey
     
  4. LindaN

    LindaN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 28, 2007
    Chicago
    The only plants my chickens have not destroyed are the daylilies, a small New Jersy Tea shrub, and yarrow. The daylilies and yarrow would do fine in the shade.

    However, I think one of the reasons the daylilies have been left alone is that they are planted up against the garage in such a way that it may be difficult for them to dig around them. The yarrow, on the other hand, is easily accessible but completely ignored.

    I was actually quite surprised that the lily of the valley succumbed to the chickens. That is a poinsonous plant, but they pecked at it so much it finally gave in. Other shade loving plants they tore up include bleeding heart, pulmonaria, and lady's mantle. Again, I don't think they ate the plants, but their constant scratching and tromping on these plants likely led to their demise.

    I'm waiting to see how the star of bethlehem (considered an invasive weed in some areas), grape hyacinths, and tulips survive the chickens in the spring!
     
  5. allen wranch

    allen wranch Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    San Marcos, TX
    Here is a list of toxic plants from Poultryhelp.com that might be helpful. I didn't see daylilies on the list.
     
  6. eggydoom

    eggydoom New Egg

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    Sep 26, 2007
    Roanoke, Va
    Do any of those plants you mentioned do OK in part sun?

    I have some of the sunflowers growing up under a cherry tree, even the ones on the north side bloom some. Of course, that part of the yard gets full sun most of the year. I've seen Jerusalem artichoke mentioned on here several times, you and your hens could both enjoy those (they do spread).

    My hens dislike mint and lemon balm, both can be hard to control but they do fine in low light. (I don't see mint on the list of toxic plants.) My hens did manage to dig up and kill a patch of 'balm, which I would have thought was impossible. I wish they would dig out the tansy... (that's on the list, but it's not so good for people either).​
     
  7. SeaChick

    SeaChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    Hey, great info, folks!! Thank you very very much. I'll try transplanting the daylilies in the spring, and I've also got some mint and nepeta I can try. And I may try some of the other recommendations as well!

    Thanks!
    Stacey
     

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