Toxic plants

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sassafrass, Dec 31, 2011.

  1. sassafrass

    sassafrass New Egg

    Dec 30, 2011
    Hi , everyone I am new to all of this and am just doing my due diligence before acquiring any chicks . In my travels around your wonderful forum I have discovered that the list of plants that are toxic to chickens is huge , there are two plants on the list that are all over my backyard , those are acacia and english ivy . I really want some birds for pets and eggs but I wonder if these plants make it a deal breaker. I am only allowed 4 pullets in my neighborhood so I could build a 8'x10' run with a raised coop at one end but I would like to let them out into the yard on occasion to scratch and just adventure around eating bugs and stuff . I guess what I am asking is how toxic are these plants and how have you all handled situations like this?
    Best regards , Lee
  2. SueBaby

    SueBaby Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2011
    Oceanside, CA
    I have oleanders all along my fence line. I was worried that my girls would get into it, and was watching them like crazy when I let them out at first. Now I see that there are so many other good things to eat in my yard that they don't even think about the oleanders. From my understanding the nasty toxic stuff doesn't taste good anyway- they'd have to be starved to eat it.
  3. sassafrass

    sassafrass New Egg

    Dec 30, 2011
    Thank you so much SueBaby that gives me hope !!! Does anyone else have any experiences to share with me ? Sorry if I seem a little obsesive about this , I just want to give my new pets the best care possible . Whenever I have become interested in something I will spend hours learning everything I can about the subject , to me the learining is part of the fun , and that way if anything comes up I will be prepared hopefully.
  4. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 28, 2009
    Syracuse, NY
    I recently e-mailed our garden specialist here that has a column in the newspaper. She suggested the local Vet college site to see about things. They only listed three plants. I doubt they grow where you are. However, my experience has been that chickens seem to avoid plants they don't like. For example. They ate my tomatoes but avoided the plants themselves which are poisonous. The didn't like the cabbages which are also poisonous. Braccias are poisonous, brussel sprouts and the like.

    I can't say 100% they won't eat the ivy but IMO most of the plants not eaten die from having the roots scratched out of the ground and dried up.

    I wish you well and happy new year,

  5. Baymule

    Baymule Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 1, 2010
    Northeast Texas
    I have studied toxic plants and decided that there are plenty of non-toxic plants to put in my yard. Oleanders are poison and there is no antidote. This means pets and people, not worth the risk to me. That is why in areas over run by deer, the "deer proof" plants--read poisonous--are preferred. Just how much ivy do you have and could you yank it up? Acacias have different levels of toxicity-figuring out whick ones you have might be an adventure in botany. [​IMG]

    from wikipedia:


    As mentioned previously, Acacias contain a number of organic compounds that defend them from pests and grazing animals.[8] Many of these compounds are psychoactive in humans. The alkaloids found in Acacias include dimethyltryptamine (DMT), 5-methoxy-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) and N-methyltryptamine (NMT). The plant leaves, stems and/or roots are sometimes made into a brew together with some MAOI-containing plant and consumed orally for healing, ceremonial or religious uses.

    [edit] Cyanogenic glycosides

    Nineteen different species of Acacia in the Americas contain cyanogenic glycosides, which, if exposed to an enzyme which specifically splits glycosides, can release hydrogen cyanide (HCN) in the acacia "leaves."[21] This sometimes results in the poisoning death of livestock.

    If fresh plant material spontaneously produces 200 ppm or more HCN, then it is potentially toxic. This corresponds to about 7.5 ╬╝mol HCN per gram of fresh plant material. It turns out that, if acacia "leaves" lack the specific glycoside-splitting enzyme, then they may be less toxic than otherwise, even those containing significant quantities of cyanic glycosides.[22]
  6. real_redhead

    real_redhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2011
    Roanoke, VA
    I have English ivy all over my yard and the girls don't touch it?
  7. maggiec1951

    maggiec1951 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 30, 2011
    west central florida
  8. sassafrass

    sassafrass New Egg

    Dec 30, 2011
    Thanks everyone, so it looks like the english ivy shouldn't be a problem , that leaves the acaia trees . I really appreciate all the responses the main problem is that the acaia's drop a huge amount of leaves year round so if I let my chicks out into the yard it would be impossible to keep them from eating them if the leaves were to their liking . Can anyone point me in the right direction to find someone with experience with chickens and acaias . I live on the central coast of California near Santa Cruz . Lots of Acaias in this area , no thorny species so they come from Australia is what I understand. I really hope someone from around my area can give me the green light . If the opposite is true and the chicks eat and die from acaia , how big of a run would be needed for 4 full sized hens ? And would it be considered ok for the chickens if they couldn't be let out into the yard and just lived in the run ?
  9. jeetthemeet

    jeetthemeet Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 31, 2011
    The chickens probably have an instinct of what to eat and what not to eat.

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