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Kale and Cabbage on list of toxic plants?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 3CityChicks, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. 3CityChicks

    3CityChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2011
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    I'm a fairly new chicken mom. I was just reviewing the list on Poultryhelp.com and had noticed that both kale and cabbage were listed as toxic plants. My girls are only about 20 weeks, but I've fed them both cabbage and kale on occasion, and have read others here doing the same.

    Is there a certain safe threshold for feeding these?
     
  2. PhilErvin

    PhilErvin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed my girls cabbage from time to time and have never noticed any problems.
    I pierce it and run a cord through it and hang it so they can have fun with it as they eat it.
     
  3. mississippifarmboy

    mississippifarmboy collects slightly damaged strays Premium Member

    They will kill your chickens.






    IF and big IF here.... you feed them tons of it and very little or nothing else. Many things are toxic, but only in excess. Mine eat cabbage and kale both when freeranging with never a problem. If I was feeding them nothing else they might get enough of the toxic compound to kill them. Eventually.
     
  4. 3CityChicks

    3CityChicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 11, 2011
    Tacoma, WA
    Good to know. I feed them a lot more chard than other greens. They LOVE their chard. I've only fed kale and cabbage a couple of times each, and although they like it, they don't go crazy for it as others have posted. Pumpkin seeds seem to be their drug of choice. [​IMG]
     
  5. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Southern Indiana
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

  7. thebanthams

    thebanthams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed my chickens cabbage all the time ! I have not seen any problems with it. They love 'em !
     
  8. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have been giving my hens organic kale, from my neighbor, for months. [​IMG]
    I had no idea it could be unsafe. I also give them parsley and spinach, both of which can cause problems! [​IMG]
    I'm confused by the opposing positions on the safety of these foods, and hope more people offer their opinions.
     
  9. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 5, 2010
    In human history cabbage has tended to be fermented or cooked rather than eaten raw, because it's the raw version that can deplete iodone. The brassicas are all in the same boat. But in moderate amounts on top of a balanced diet it's not a problem.

    I feel it's a silly, over-cautious list. Everything is toxic, even oxygen. If you search for studies on artificial methionine (one of the staples of the commercial chicken food industry) you'll find evidence that it's associated with fatty liver, high triglycerides and cardiovascular disease. Fatty liver is a common cause of death among chickens. Somehow that doesn't count as 'toxic'?

    You have to think about who does the studies and what kinds of interests call for what kinds of studies (while failing to research things that can't increase profit). Yes, much of what grows in the backyard is toxic in some mild way. A few plants are both dangerously toxic even in small doses, but not very many of these are also palatable. The ones that are both dangerously toxic and pleasant to eat are the baddies.

    If birds are confined, they have more incentive to eat too much of something that's mildly harmful, which is why the list can sometimes be useful. Meanwhile keep on giving kale and cabbage, but not every day. A little seaweed will supply iodine!

    Have a nice Christmas!
     
  10. Carrie Lynn

    Carrie Lynn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks! Good info, and I'll get some kelp. [​IMG]
     

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