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Question about toxic plant in chicken area...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by erinangele, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. erinangele

    erinangele Songster

    Jul 2, 2011
    Hi Everyone, i'm new to BYC (just finished posting my introductory). I hope this is the right section for this question [​IMG] Our chicken coop will be in a fenced off section of our yard. All of our current plants are mature, and i will be planting some new chicken friendly plants as well. I just noticed that Hydrangea's are toxic to chickens, we have a HUGE hydrangea bush in the area our chickens will be "free ranging". Will they know to stay away, or will i need to find a way to fence off this plant? If so, any suggestions? It covers part of our walkway.

  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Mine are free range as well with numerous toxic plant species (i.e. several types of milkweed, hydrangea, rhubbarb) and no losses or obviously sick birds. I has also observed that what might be listed as toxic for humans may still be quite edible for chickens.
  3. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

    Oct 13, 2008
    In my experience, chickens are smart enough not to eat things that are poisonous. And logically, being that they're omnivorous scavengers, this makes perfect sense. They wouldn't have survived this long, otherwise.
  4. SunnyCalifornia

    SunnyCalifornia Songster

    Oct 8, 2010
    Escondido CA
    You can always put up a small piece of chicken wire around the plant, just to discourage them from making that a "favorite" place, but I have toxic plants in my yard too i.e. Brugmansia, and the birds know that if they are caught in that are, they are shoo'd out real quick.

    However I've also heard of and seen chickens eating styrofoam, so I do question their intelligence...... Do what makes you feel most comfortable.
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    They will consume materials such as styrofoam because of its texture. Most toxic plants also taste bad as warning to many would be consumers.
  6. duckinnut

    duckinnut Songster

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    not sure if they are toxic to chickens but I know that rhododendrens(sp) leaves are loaded with lead. Not even sure if a chicken would eat them but you cant be to sure.
  7. welasharon

    welasharon Songster

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I have tons of brugmansia's and they scratch around the bottoms in the dirt but they never eat them. This is their second season with them. There are certain plants that didn't last 10 minutes (creeping jenny is evidently like crack for them) and then others they never touch.

  8. triplepurpose

    triplepurpose Songster

    Oct 13, 2008
    Quote:THey eat styrofoam not because they are stupid, per se, but because they don't know what it is. Why would they? Styrofoam, unlike poisonous plants, is not something encountered in nature until quite recently. If YOU didn't know any better and YOU were hungry, it's not that far of a leap to suppose that YOU take a bite of it too.... [​IMG]
  9. ErinG

    ErinG Songster

    Sep 6, 2010
    Quote:Rhododendrons are toxic because they contain something called grayanotoxins...not because they have lead in them. A reminder to BYCers to take all advice with a grain of salt, and maybe some additional research.

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