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Vine that is not poisonous.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by beejentl, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. beejentl

    beejentl In the Brooder

    May 27, 2010
    Vacaville CA
    Hi! Can anyone tell me a full sun vine that I can plant to cover a fense that is not poisonous/toxic to chickens? Seems like everything I find is poisonous.

  2. bethandjoeync

    bethandjoeync Songster

    Mar 21, 2009
    Iron Station, NC
    if they find it tasty then it won't have a chance to cover the fence lol. try cucumber! (it's all I could think of)
  3. How about pole beans? Of course, your vines may never grow big enough to climb anything...

    If they are free ranging, I wouldn't worry too much. Then tend to avoid things they shouldn't eat. It's when they are confined that they seem to eat anything.

    My birds have left my English ivy, clematis, wisteria, and yellow trumpet vine alone. They also leave the kudzu and poison oak, but I don't really recommend that you plant THEM. [​IMG]
  4. beejentl

    beejentl In the Brooder

    May 27, 2010
    Vacaville CA
    Thanks! I wanted to plant Clematis but it said it was poisonous. Also, potato vine, trumpet vine........so may are poisonous!

    Mine will have a run but then be let out for several hours to free range every day.
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  5. Heathercp

    Heathercp Songster

    Jul 23, 2008
    Durham, NC
    My Australorps free range all day and we're finding more and more plants in the yard that they won't eat. We've got a wooded lot and lots of English ivy. I knew that wouldn't be good for them to eat, but trusted that they wouldn't. They don't.

    Since we've erected the 8ft. fence to keep the deer out of the yard we've been amazed at how many plants have been springing up all over the place. Lots of different kinds of ivy, Virginia creeper, wild honeysuckle, vinca minor and other unknown green things are suddenly appearing. The chickens don't eat any of it. Some of the stuff that grows right in the middle of their favorite spots might get some root damage from all the scratching, but there's a whole lot of stuff they don't eat. I've got climbing hortensia growing in the shade and scarlet trumpet vine in the sun. Also some kiwis. The kiwi vines grow FAST. If you plant male and female, you'll even get some small fruit.

    What we no longer find in the yard are any of the weeds that used to be the bane of my existence during the summer. No more chickweed. No more of that curly stuff that gets those purple flowers. Nada. Also no more snakes or ticks. And the cats haven't needed any Frontline for fleas so far this year either (knock on wood).

    I'm not sure what happens to chickens who are confined to a run that has toxic plants in it, but when it comes to the things you plant in a free range area, I wouldn't worry about them eating plants that aren't good for them.

    Good luck.
  6. beejentl

    beejentl In the Brooder

    May 27, 2010
    Vacaville CA
    Thanks so much Heather! I think I am just going to plant away and keep an eye on them. Your post was very helpful! I hope my chicks like the weeds too!
  7. WV_Hillbilly70

    WV_Hillbilly70 Songster

    Apr 28, 2010
    Nashville, Indiana
    I would say honey suckle or pole beans, I just planted pole beans on the one side of my run to provide shade in the summer and then cut them back in the fall, plus it gives the girls the occational snack... [​IMG]
  8. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Songster

    Sep 4, 2009
    Honeysuckle berries are SUPPOSED to be poisonous. But my hens have always eaten all, and I mean ALL, the red honeysuckle berries they can get their beaks on. Even jumping and nearly killing themselves trying for the biggest bunches at the top of the vine. We have lots & lots of honeysuckle vines. Smells nice, feeds the bees during blooming, and the chickens eat the ripe berries in fall. We also have lots of different plants you'd consider poisonous too, like lily-of-the-valley which people say you should get rid of if you have a dog. Not my chickens. They even graze a teeny bit on the leaves. We also have nightshade vines, and they eat the ripe berries on that, too. Chickens are amazing. Early February, my hens were eating the growth tips on the fronds of our cedar trees. All spring they have trimmed the bottom skirt off my weeping maple, as high as they can leap. They love to eat the leaves. Darn tree looks weird now.

    I agree, if they have free-range access to lots of different shrubs/weeds/plants/grasses, they will be fine. Birds know what they need, and from time to time they "medicate" themselves with even some stuff we consider poisonous. (come to think of it, so do we!) I do worry for the birds that are confined & have only access to one or two plant types, because they will get a toxic overload if that is ALL they can get. They need seasonal variety. Your chicks will LOVE weeds.

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