FREE RANGE feed.......What about a list of Dangerous pants for chiciks

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dirtdoctor, May 13, 2008.

  1. dirtdoctor

    dirtdoctor Songster

    Oct 1, 2007
    Hollister, Califronia
    Does anyone have a listing of toxic plants that will effect chickens, I know some poisonous plants will cause nerve damage to horses, but not cattle. so the idea that one plant is dangerous for every animal isnt correct.

    I free range chickens and need to know what is not accecptable for feed.

    Another question......just because a toxic weed, is in the field, will the chickens not touch it ? and eat everything around it?
    some animals will not touch the poisonous plants.....and we know how SMART CHICKENS ARE..........

  2. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Jack, I am completely in agreement with what you said: some plants are poisonous to one species and not others; and, chickens aren't too smart.

    We can also look at the terms "poisonous" or "toxic." If it gives you indigestion, is it toxic? I guess if the indigestion is serious enuf to interfere with production - it is. Personally, I just need to be a little more cautious with the wasabi at the sushi counter. And, nobody cares about my production [​IMG].

    Some plants are toxic under certain conditions and not at other times. Often those conditions are seriously stressful on the plant like drought, flooding, or over-fertilizing. Many forage plants can produce toxins under these conditions. Modern agriculture depends on some of these plants to feed our livestock but, at times, they would have an adverse effect if eaten.

    We had a knowledgeable chicken person challenge us with regards to a personal knowledge of a chicken toxic plant poisoning death. Surely such a thing has happened but there were no reports at that time. One thing about free-ranging, chickens should have a variety of choices. If they are penned and given one plant to eat, they may eat if even if that plant would have been avoided while free-ranging.

    Cornell University Animal Science Department has information on plants specifially toxic to chickens.

    The Merck Veterinary Manual only mentions poultry once but has a longer list and refers to "all grazing animals." Chickens may or may not be included in that group.

    I have a few other links but they are a little more specific to different parts of the country even if not very specific to chickens - West Virginia, Indiana, Calfornia.

    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010
  3. ravenseye57

    ravenseye57 In the Brooder

    May 18, 2010
    OK, now I'm completely confused. I'm looking up "plants toxic to chickens" and getting HUGE lists of plants including cabbage, garlic, clover and chickweed (all things I've seen promoted as good for chickens elsewhere). At this rate I'm going to be afraid to let my chookies ever leave a bare dirt pen and that is not the way I intended to raise them!! Do I really have to worry about these things, or will they figure out for themselves what's good to eat and what they don't like? And what about garlic? I've seen it promoted as a natural way to prevent worms (garlic oil in the water), is it safe or is it toxic to them? HELP!
  4. GrannySue

    GrannySue Songster

    In my experience chickens seem to know what they should eat without our help.
    My chickens and ducks free-range on my property, about 1/3 acre, and they thrive on it. According to several lists, buttercups aren't good for them. I have buttercups all over the place and they simply don't touch them.
    Of course the hens decided that their most favourite snack was dahlia leaves. Yummy dahlia salad!! So no prizewinning flowers for me last year.

    It goes without saying that I use no herbicides or insecticides. In fact that's why my ducks no longer free range. They kept getting out of the yard and heading up to my neighbour's place. He uses all sorts of poison on his garden. (And he wins prizes, of course.)
  5. ravenseye57

    ravenseye57 In the Brooder

    May 18, 2010
    Thanks. I had heard that they were smart enough not to eat things that are bad for them too, but then other people seemed to be saying to keep anything possibly toxic away from them. We have ten acres, also blissfully pesticide/herbacide free, of forest/field with hundreds of varieties of plants many of which were on the list. There's no way that I could get rid of or keep them away from all of the plants that could be harmful.
    The area that we put the run has lots of dogbane coming up in it. I thought that it was OK, but the darn stuff keeps spreading and it's impossible to get rid of. Do you think that will be a problem since they'll be confined in there when we aren't around? Moving the run isn't an option, so we figured we'd mow and put leaves from the woods down in there to TRY to discourage "bad" things. Dogbane has underground stems though and it's VERY persistent! The chicks are about two weeks from going out to the coop.
  6. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Many of the things we use as herbal treatments are technically toxic. Part of the reason they do anything is because they are harmful to bacteria and parasites or they impact the body in certain ways. Too much of them will have too great of effect. Dewormers all work on the principal that we are giving enough to be toxic to the parasites but not enough to be toxic to the host. So yes cloves, garlic, and other common herbs can be considered toxic if we are listing things that are toxic at any amount even if that's a very large amount.

    Free ranging chickens will rarely eat enough of anything to harm themselves. I have toxic stuff all over the place and I've never had a dead chicken. Penned chickens that don't have greens will eat whatever greens they can get and may poison themselves. Chickens given a choice may pick at something once and then they'll ignore it for something better.
  7. Hillsvale

    Hillsvale Songster

    Oct 20, 2009
    Hillsvale, Nova Scotia
    Quote:well the first thing that popped into my head was anything made of the fuzzy velour especially purple and pink... then I realized you means foliage! lol... sorry couldn't resist!

    I have chickens, geese and turkeys.. so it may not be specific to just chickens but I hear rhubarb and tomato leaves are a no no... there was a thread not so long ago you could try and search... I tried but don't have time to search right now. [​IMG]
  8. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:I totally agree. My chickens have been free ranging on our 80 acre farm for two years now and not one single poisoned chicken. The list of toxic plants on this property would stretch a mile.
    We don't use pesticides. Chickens know what to eat and what not to eat. Betcha they find the ripe blackberries before I do. [​IMG]
  9. ravenseye57

    ravenseye57 In the Brooder

    May 18, 2010
    Thanks all! I feel somewhat reassured about the whole thing now. I'll do what I can with mowing and leaves in the run to discourage the dogbane, though from previous experience I'm afraid that will keep down almost everything EXCEPT the dogbane. Hopefully all of their scratching in the leaves will break off the shoots and they'll be too busy eating the tasty bugs in the leaves to eat them. [​IMG] I'll make sure and cut them plenty of more delicious fodder to eat until they're old enough to free-range. Some toxic plant lists I've seen don't list dogbane, so I'm not sure just how toxic it really is.
  10. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    What about a list of Dangerous pants for chiciks

    Unless they are speckled, pencilled, or laced then plaid pants are right OUT.

    Orange does not look good on anyone.

    Only white birds should wear yellow.

    Everyone is safe with good old basic black.

    I recommend all chickens should stick with skinny britches (otherwise known as "bird legs.") Bell bottoms would be danger though hilarious.​
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2010

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