Do chickens and ice plant mix?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Zoopathy, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. Zoopathy

    Zoopathy In the Brooder

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    Wondering if I can let chickens wander around on a hillside that is covered in patches of ice plant? I hope to eventually get rid of the ice plant, but it will be a slow-and-steady process. Is ice plant, or its fruit, bad for chickens if they ingest it?
     
  2. Akane

    Akane Crowing

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    Can you be more specific? There are about 1900 "ice plants" and probably 5 or 6 more commonly grown in the US. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aizoaceae

    Several
    species found in this group are toxic to cattle but whether you are talking about one of those or whether the toxicity is enough to bother chickens I don't know. Usually chickens don't get poisoned by much so long as the potentially toxic plant isn't the only food around.
     
  3. Zoopathy

    Zoopathy In the Brooder

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    Hmmm...I'm afraid I *can't* be more specific. When I bought the house, the sandy hillside was covered in "ice plant", which is commonly used around here to hold together sandy hillsides and to serve as a fire break (I'm in San Diego County). I've heard that humans can eat the little fruits that grow on it (they resemble the fruit of the Opuntias, but certainly aren't cactuses...). But there would be plenty of other foodstuffs around, so hopefully they'll steer clear (or dig deep)!
     
  4. sillybirds

    sillybirds Songster

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    I can't comment on whether it's safe to eat or not, but I bet the chickens would help you tear it out.
     

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