1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Potential Potatoes?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Infernalhen, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. Infernalhen

    Infernalhen New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Jan 3, 2013
    Hello everyone!

    I am new to this forum, and new to chickens. I have just put together my first coop, am planning on getting three or so hens in a couple weeks time and I have a question that I hope fits in this section. We have a pretty large ex vegetable garden here, which is where I was hoping to keep my chickens. The 'garden' has been left to go to seed for years and years and contains hardly any veges, save some wild silverbeet and I think perhaps some potatoes.

    Here's my question. Will the potato plants that are left in the garden cause my prospective chickens to become ill? If so, does anyone have any experience with ridding a garden of potentially toxic plants?

    Thank you very much!
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    450
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Most likely the chickens will ignore them. It shouldn't be that hard to just pull young plants when they emerge in the spring, though.
     
  3. Infernalhen

    Infernalhen New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Jan 3, 2013
    Thanks! The 'vegetable garden' is something of a completely overgrown mess. I've been weeding at it and I will of course try to get rid of as many of those seedlings as I can (it's spring here in the Southern Hemisphere and the patch has gone wild with growth).

    Also wondering, the gardener we had was spraying it with herbicide to try to keep the weed growth away (it didn't work of course ;) ) but the spray was last used a good couple months ago. She said it would be safe for animals after a couple of days, so I am guessing that chickens will be fine on it as well?

    Thank you again for your help!
     
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    4,210
    451
    328
    Apr 8, 2008
    Ohio
    I don't think you have to worry about what was sprayed last year. My dumb hens got into my garden right after I'd sprayed Carbaryl to kill cucumber beetles (three day withholding for fruits) and ate the cukes and everything else they could get their little beaks on, and you'd never know. The goat had somehow gotten the pasture gate open and they all had a garden free-for-all.

    Be aware that chickens are massively destructive in a garden. Expect dug-up seedlings, plants eaten to the ground, and holes in your tomatoes, squashes and pumpkins. It seems so idyllic, chickens in the garden eating bugs. But what it really is is a PLANT MASSACRE.
     
  5. Infernalhen

    Infernalhen New Egg

    3
    0
    7
    Jan 3, 2013
    Thanks for the advice everyone :) I'm not too worried about them destroying the garden, that's pretty much why we're getting them. Neither of us are gardeners, but this patch is very large and I don't think it has been properly planted in many years. So mostly what's in it are weeds and that sort of thing - basically, it's ripe for a massacre ;)
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by