Poisoning Chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Reg, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. Reg

    Reg Songster

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    [​IMG]

    Hi there

    As you can see from my coop photo, to the left of coop i have Rhubarb growing.

    My hens will be let out to wonder around all the area in the photo.

    Rhubard leaves are poisonous [​IMG] What do i do ?

    Remove it ?

    Put up a sign saying keep off ? [​IMG]

    Or will they know all about Rhubarb & stay well away?

    Maybe Rhubarb leaves have no effect on Chickens ?
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Reg,

    I have kept chickens and rhubarb. When the chickens consume the leaves they do not consume a lot. It takes more than one bite to cause serious harm but it is enough to cause discomfort. They quickly learn the foul taste is associated with feeling bad shortly thereafter. Lots of plants have such a relationship with grazers like chickens operating in this case.

    Problems could become apparent if feeding options too limited.
     
  3. dsqard

    dsqard Crazy "L" Farms

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    I just went to this site on toxic plants: http://www.poultryhelp.com/toxicplants.html#R It says that rhubarb leaves and plant are toxic to chickens. I would either remove the plants or fence it off so that they can not get to it. I would not count on them knowing it is bad for them. They will eat styrofoam if given a chance. Silly chickens [​IMG] Hope this helps!
     
  4. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    Follow link. http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/lawn_garden/poison/poison.html

    Several species occuring on list also occur within my flocks' foraging range. No losses to date attributable to consumption of these plants. Reg, you may want to lookup comparable list for Great Britain. You will likely find multiple plant species are in fact poisonus but are not generally noted for being so owing to plants not valued for cullinary use.

    Many plant species, probably most, are at least midly toxic and same plants have chemical warnings to would be consumers of their parts.
     
  5. Reg

    Reg Songster

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    Quote:Thanks for that

    I think i will risk it after all in the wild they would have to fend for themselfs.[​IMG]

    If they do die can i still eat them ? [​IMG]
     
  6. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

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    My general rule of thumb is if an animal is not healthy and alive immediately prior to dressing for consumption, then do not eat it. Otherwise do not consume contents of digestive tract which for most folks that is standard.
     
  7. booker81

    booker81 Redneck Tech Girl

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    I have rhubarb, and the chickens don't seem to bother it - other than scratching up the DAYLIGHTS out of it. When it's growing full bore, lots of bugs and what not hide out under there, and I end up with chickens under there going gangbusters after them.
     
  8. Reg

    Reg Songster

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    Quote:ALL LOOKS GOOD THEN [​IMG]
     
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

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    My chickens have never bothered my rhubarb, either. Most things that are poisonous are bitter, so that helps. My chickens are also usually cautious eaters with new foods. That seems to be a natural behavior for them. They also have lots of good food choices on the property, so they focus on those.
     
  10. elmo

    elmo Crowing

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    As long as it's not in the chicken run (when confined, chickens will tend to eat anything green, no matter how bad it tastes to them), I wouldn't worry. We have English ivy in our yard, and I was going to try to rip it all out until an experienced poultry keeping friend advised me not to worry about it. He was right. When free ranging our flock ignores it.

    Keep an eye out, though. If you see your chickens are starting to go after the rhubarb, you could fence it off.
     

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