what flowers won't my chickens eat?

marcosmommy

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 6, 2009
10
0
22
I would like to do some landscaping around my yard with flowers, but I don't know what my free-range chickens and turkeys will leave alone. I like peonies and lupines, but will they work? Any suggestions?
 

BeardedLadyFarm

Songster
10 Years
May 31, 2009
1,368
25
163
Cobleskill NY
Mine are still quite young and can't do serious damage yet, but I've seen them sampling the peonies and then moving on. I think the leaves aren't tender enough for their liking!
 

columbiacritter

Songster
11 Years
Jun 7, 2008
1,602
20
194
Scappoose Oregon
It really depends on how big your yard is. Mine roam 1 1/2 acres and leave most flowers alone, except marigolds, but I know in smaller yards with less grazign they decimate what mine ignore.

I do have to protect my peonies when they are coming up inthe spring otherwise the chickens break off the emerging stalks scratchign or just walking over them. Other htan that they've never showed any interst in the peonies or lupines. I have 46 peonies so if they were going to turn on them I'd be in trouble!
 

CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
176
281
I am surprised that they eat peonies. All parts of the peony are poisonous to mammals. Maybe birds can tolerate the toxins?
Anyhow, DON'T get hostas or Maiden Pinks. I can tell you from experience that they will eat all parts of Maiden Pinks. My chickens searched out every patch of them in my yard and ate them- roots and all.

I over-seeded my lawn with white clover and the chickens LOVE it. They stay out of my garden mostly and concentrate on picking out the clover leaves. They don't touch creeping phlox, but will eat tall phlox. They stay away from astilbe, lillies, irises, daffodils, most herbs, daisies. They'll eat sunflower seedlings, nasturtium, pansies and some sedum varieties.
This has been the observation with MY chickens, so it may not hold true with all chickens, but it seems like a good start. I have noticed that most of the damage to my gardens has not been from eating, but mechanical damage from them scratching the plants out of the ground. They have scratched so furiously at the ground that they dug several bulbs right out from 6-8 inches down.
Hope this helps.
 

SproutGirl

Songster
11 Years
Apr 3, 2008
341
5
141
Missoula, Montana
Dandelion flowers are yucky to chickens. Lilacs, however, are tasty and worth jumping for. Bindweed flowers are icky, but tulips are yummy. Should clover flower in your lawn, it is, of course, disgusting to a hen or a roo. But should your tomato plant flower and peek through your garden fence, it is most palatable to any chicken. See the pattern? Marcsmommy, you might try landscaping with weeds if you want your flowers to be surely safe.
 

marcosmommy

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 6, 2009
10
0
22
Quote:haha! I have alot of wild morning glories in my yard, and it seems to be the one thing my chickens don't like. It's a pretty weed at least...
 

I'M On Island Time

In the Brooder
11 Years
Aug 23, 2008
81
0
39
Chain O'Lakes IL
I have given up with landscaping for the most part. I have some evergreen bushes, but that is it. If they don't eat the plants, they end up digging all around them and eventually uproot them or squash them down to nothing.

They also kick the mulch all over the place and that makes a mess in the grass.

The places I had planned for a garden--they basically have just been filled in and I planted some grass.

My vegetable garden has 3 layers of fencing to keep the chickens out.
 

CMV

Flock Mistress
10 Years
Apr 15, 2009
6,770
176
281
Another thought...I have an area where I throw all my fall leaves. Not a compost pile really, just leaves and flower garden debris in a natural depression on the edge of my forest. My chickens spend most of their free-range time in that area poking and scratching in those old leaves. It keeps them occupied for hours. They don't bother my rather extensive flower gardens because they have much more appealing areas to explore. That being said, I have an electric fence around my veggie patch. I don't trust them near my vegetables. Too tempting.
 

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