Poisoning Chickens

Reg

Songster
9 Years
Jan 6, 2011
245
0
107
Luton
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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
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What do i do ?

Remove it ?

Put up a sign saying keep off ?
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Or will they know all about Rhubarb & stay well away?

Maybe Rhubarb leaves have no effect on Chickens ?
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,451
18,021
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
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.
 

dsqard

Crazy "L" Farms
11 Years
Jun 11, 2010
5,400
938
401
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
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Hope this helps!
 

centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,451
18,021
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
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.
 

Reg

Songster
9 Years
Jan 6, 2011
245
0
107
Luton
Quote:
Thanks for that

I think i will risk it after all in the wild they would have to fend for themselfs.
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If they do die can i still eat them ?
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centrarchid

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Sep 19, 2009
26,451
18,021
876
Holts Summit, Missouri
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.
 

booker81

Redneck Tech Girl
9 Years
Apr 18, 2010
1,929
105
183
Mid-MI
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.
 

WoodlandWoman

Crowing
12 Years
May 8, 2007
5,717
80
283
Wisconsin
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.
 

elmo

Crowing
11 Years
May 23, 2009
4,907
268
336
DFW
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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