Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Gretchen2, May 11, 2010.

  1. Gretchen2

    Gretchen2 Hatching

    Apr 20, 2010
    I was hoping to start planting ground-covers and flowers at my new place and checked a list of poisonous plants for Chickens.....IT"S HUGE?! Is it true that Chickens tend to avoid eating things that aren't good for them? Has anybody had any bad experiences or trouble with chicken being poisoned by plants.

    Any suggestions, tips or site links would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    I've pretty much given up worrying about poisonous plants. Like you said the list is huge. The chickens in my yard seem to leave most everything alone, just a little sampling. The bigger question is: How do you plan on keeping the chickens from uprooting the new plants.

    good luck

  3. Illia

    Illia Crazy for Colors

    Oct 19, 2009
    Forks, WA
    The list is huge, and a LOT of the things on the list have minor issues. They're not all "toxic and deadly" per say. Some of them are only even harmful if effected by fungi, frost, or pesticide reaction. Others are only harmful if injested in very large amounts.

    The main thing about animals eating toxic plants is that they usually will only do it if they have little choice.
  4. cobrien

    cobrien Songster

    Mar 16, 2009
    Oakland, CA
    I have at least one poisonous plant (oleander) in my yard and have seen the chickens sample it and spit it out. I have also stopped worrying about poisonous plants but that's not to say there's no risk.

    I have many plants in my yard that have survived the chickens. I found most by looking for "deer resistant" plants at the nursery, and others by just giving them a shot. I have found that younger chickens (<6-8 months) are more destructive as they will sample a plant over and over before deciding it tastes bad, and by that time the plant is gone. When over 1 year old they know what they like and leave other stuff alone.

    To prevent digging, I surround the plant with stones or bricks. I think putting down chicken wire, jute / burlap, or other objects could help, too. This has worked very well for me.

    If I plant especially important / expensive plants or fruit trees, I have used the cheap, 3' plastic netting (green in color so not too ugly) to make little protective cyclinders about 1-3' in diameter around the plants and stake them down. I'm hoping to remove them once the plants are more established, as I don't think they'll be too tasty to the chickens. I've done this around some artichokes, and some baby fruit trees in bloom as I don't want them to eat the flowers/blooms.

    good luck,
  5. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    I'd say that in my yard, the chickens seem to leave poisonous stuff alone. Except for tomato greens. Maybe they're just too tasty. Just be aware that if you spend $ on lovely gardens and then choose to free range, most of those gardens could end up in your chicken's tummies. In my yard, the amount they consume seems to equal the dollars spent.
  6. Gretchen2

    Gretchen2 Hatching

    Apr 20, 2010
    Thanks folks! I'm not too concerned about them digging up plants cause it's a fairly large yard. But my anxiety is decreased and i look forwards to getting started.

    Thank you all again!


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