Poisonus/Dangerous Plants for Hens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by pgcm934, Apr 14, 2009.

  1. pgcm934

    pgcm934 New Egg

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Have 3 RI Reds in a backyard setting in Southern California. They are in a enclosed coop at night and have access to a 100+ sq. ft enclosed run. But most often during the day the "ladies" free-range the entire backyard.

    The backyard has lots of flower beds, fruit trees, morning glory (ivy), etc. They normally stick to the "yard" but...

    Does anyone know of specific plants, etc. that would cause serious harm to my ladies? (I moved out the Hydrangeas and Lupines as I know those are no good)

    I've read numerous information but it all seems contradictory. Some lists are so long it makes your head spin and you wonder how they could possibly "survive" on a farm, let alone in a backyard.

    I don't plan on making any modifications to the yard but just need to know if any "typical" plants found in many SoCal backyards are an absolute NO!
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    This is just MHO, but my chickens free range on 80 acres and I don't exactly follow them around to check what they're eating. A year of free ranging and no one's been poisoned yet. They avoid the stuff they are not suppose to eat.
    They are probably going to have a blast tearing up your flower beds though. [​IMG]
    ETA: you can use the search feature to find more info. on poisonous plants and get more opinions. Welcome to BYC!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  3. pgcm934

    pgcm934 New Egg

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    Glad to finally own some hens and get on this forum.

    Penny, Delilah and Mabel do love the flowerbeds, but they go ga-ga for the pill bugs from the compost and worms from the vermicompost.

    I agree that following them around is not an option most of the time and they will stay away from what they know is no good. I was most concerned with the numerous potted plants we have.

    Thanks for the info. Wish I had more room for more hens.
     
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    These may be of help to you:

    Toxic and Non-Toxic Plants, ASPCA

    Toxic Plants, UCDavis

    I think that in a confined area, chickens may be inclined to eat things out of boredom or absence of choice. These lists are mostly of what you may find in yards.

    Steve
    Welcome to BYC's [​IMG]!
     
  5. Biddieacres

    Biddieacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    I believe morning glories are poisonous. They will probably avoid them as said above. They seem to know what to avoid.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2009
  6. missourichickenmama

    missourichickenmama SURPRISE!

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    Quote:WHAT?!? I feed them to my chickens all the time, I had no clue they were poisonous. The chart said that the seeds were poisonous, are the flowers too?
     
  7. GardeNerd

    GardeNerd Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Here is a short easy list of stuff folks grow around here that could kill the chickens or you:

    Oleander
    Brugmansia sanguinea (Angel's Trumpet)
    Foxglove
    Datura stramonium (Jimson Weed)
    Larkspur
    Nicotiana glauca (Tree Tobacco)
    Castor Bean
    English Yew
    * watch out for mushrooms in the yard, too.

    There are other things around here that are poisonous, but generally most won't kill you, only itch or cause gastric problems. So many of the online lists are daunting to non gardeners and gardeners alike and are aimed more at human toxins, but applied to animals as well. Use the lists if you are very concerned. I waded through a lot of the different lists when I got a baby tortoise 5 years ago. I finally decided to worry only about the worst offenders on that short list. Good Luck.
     
  8. RockRoadchick

    RockRoadchick Out Of The Brooder

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    This is something that has been bothering me for awhile now. I plan on eventually free ranging my chickens on a little over 6 acres and I can't possibly police all the plants in the pasture although I'll be seeding native prairie plants throughout, eventually.

    My main concern is an invasive plant called, Star-of-Bethlehem which is running rampant here and very hard to get rid of. It's on the toxic list. At first I had hoped they'd eat them up and do some pest-plant control but now I hope they do as others have said and leave poison plants alone. Looking at the toxic plant list I can only hope nature is kind to my girls and they know what not to eat.

    I'll be concentrating on keeping their closed run free of toxic plants, a daunting task in itself, and crossing my fingers on the rest.


    I guess I was no help but seeking reassurance just the same. [​IMG]

    (my chicks arrive in less than a week!)
     
  9. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I notice that the "Species Most Often Affected" by Star-of-Bethlehem is humans, according to Cornell University.

    The ASPCA has a "17 Common Poisonous Plants" - that page may also help narrow things down.

    Most any plant can be toxic if it grows under certain conditions. Even things that are commonly grown as forage can be toxic - especially, if the plant grows in stressful conditions. Flooding, drought, and over-fertilizing can make plants toxic. How much is eaten needs to be considered if we are going to worry about this.

    I think the best thing is for the birds to have lots of choices and probably the most important choice is their regular feed, available free-choice, even when they are foraging out on their own.

    My foraging hens are most interested in eating grass. In a backyard, grass is likely to be very common and very safe [​IMG].

    Steve
     
  10. Biddieacres

    Biddieacres Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2008
    Quote:WHAT?!? I feed them to my chickens all the time, I had no clue they were poisonous. The chart said that the seeds were poisonous, are the flowers too?

    I looked it up again to make sure I was giving the right information and it does say all parts of the morning glory are poisonous. This link below gives a long list of poisonous plants and flowers to people and pets.

    http://www.chelonia.org/Articles/plantsthatpoison.htm
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2009

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