Mallow weed toxic to chickens?

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by HaleyM, Mar 7, 2016.

  1. HaleyM

    HaleyM Out Of The Brooder

    Hey Everyone!! :ya

    Was wondering if anyone has had an experience with their chickens free ranging mallow weed? My yard is 95% dirt and mallow weed and my flock eats it up. I've been trying to figure out the runny poo situation they've been having and the mallow weed is my last and only guess. Some sources say it's edible but several other sources say it toxic to chickens because it's leaves hold a volatile oil. I'm at a loss. Let me know if you've has any experience with this. Thanks a bunch!
  2. chicklover 1998

    chicklover 1998 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 30, 2015
    this website says it is toxic but if they are eating it and living they should be fine, watery poo can be cause by a multitude of things, from too much water, to just a little stomach bug.
  3. animalgrl

    animalgrl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2015
    I don't know anything about mallow weed, but I do know that just because they are alive after eating it doesn't mean it is not toxic. Some things are not toxic in small amounts but are toxic in large amounts or with repeated exposure (for example, we use nutmeg as a spice, but nutmeg is toxic to people in large amounts). Are you able to keep them away from the mallow weed for a period of time to see if the issue resolves without access to the mallow weed?
  4. HaleyM

    HaleyM Out Of The Brooder

    Hey, thanks for responding! I am digging up all the mallow as we speak to see if it makes a difference. They've had runny poo for over a month now and they eat the mallow in large quantities. The only other thing it could be is worms but I don't think so. I'd rather not give them dewormer..Maybe I'll try a natural dewormer. Going back out to keep weeding! Thanks all!:frow
  5. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

    Jan 23, 2013
    Pocono Mtns
    My Coop
    I wouldn't worry too much. Chickens have been arounds for thousands of years without our "protection". They do not eat things that are toxic to them.
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2016
  6. HaleyM

    HaleyM Out Of The Brooder

    Sure, I understand that but my chickens are in a 40x50 paddock area and their only green choice is a handful of weeds, one of them being mallow weed, which has been recorded as a toxic plant to chickens and I watch them eat the he'll out of it everyday. We'll see in a week or so because I just weeded the whole area, nothing left but dandelion and blackberry bush. Thanks again for the input!
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Hey Haley! It sounds like your paddock area could use a make over. I know you've not asked for advice, but I just can't resist sticking my nose in where it's not invited. If I had this area for my chicken run, this is what I'd do with it: First, I'd make one or more grow frames out of 2 x 4's standing on edge in a box configuration. Then plant them with some oats or wheat, or other greens, perhaps even some kale and some lettuce. A nice mix. Cover the top over with wire, so that the chickens can eat the stuff that grows up through the top, but can't pull out the plants themselves, or dig up the soil there. Then, in the rest of the run, I'd put a deep layer of mulch. You could use grass clippings, leaves, hay, straw, bedding from the coop, garden debris, wood chips... basically anything you can get your hands on to create a nice 6" thick layer of mulch. This will give your birds a nice healthy compost to work through. It will call lots of beneficial organisms to the soil. And it will turn it into a healthy environment for the flock.
  8. HaleyM

    HaleyM Out Of The Brooder

    @lazy gardener Haha, no worries. I always appreciate the advice. I'm still pretty new at this and learning everyday. Actually, I just tilled up an area of the paddock and my boyfriend is building chicken grazing boxes as we speak. Great minds think alike :clap however, I'm not sure if I want to do the deep compost area in the paddock because I'm still unsure what is going to go there in the future. Thank you again for taking the time to write me.
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    No matter what you put there in the future, the deep litter/compost/mulch will be a source of black gold that you will be oh so very thankful to have. It can be used in a million different ways if you do any gardening at all... If you have even the smallest of flower beds, that stuff is like rocket fuel to get plants growing.
  10. springvalley123

    springvalley123 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2015
    North of Phoenix
    I've read several sites on the mallow. One site says it's laxative. All the other sites say it's a "famine food" that is invasive and it's edible. I've given it to my ducks and chicks. They dont go for it except they'll eat the younger smaller leaves. I've ate it raw and cooked. No ill effects. It takes practically no time to cook and I prefer it to kale. I read that it has a lot of vit's A,, B and C, and magnesium, calcium & potassium. I have a forest of it up to 3 ft tall now, over most of the otherwise unused .7 acre. I'm looking for ways to incorporate it as a food.I'm thinking the leaves, flowers and nuts (fruit) because I'm guessing the stem would incorporate too much fiber. Not thinking of using it for the growing chicks, but to augment the ducks' food/forage.

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