Why is cabbage listed on the toxic plant link page?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by entropyy77, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. entropyy77

    entropyy77 New Egg

    Dec 1, 2012
    PoultryHelp toxic plants page ( which is a link from the BYC FOOD CHART PAGE) lists cabbage as one of the plants that they shouldn't have. What am I missing here, I thought cabbage was fine for chickens? Also citrus is actually listed on the BYC chart as not alright and yet there are some posts saying that citrus is fine, and others saying that it is dangerous. As a new chicken owner I am finding it very confusing to find such very conflicting "facts" as both sides seem to have scientific backing. Is the food chart very old and just not updated with new findings or are some findings just not deemed researched enough to be considered valid?
  2. BullChick

    BullChick Not who you think Premium Member

    Apr 17, 2012
    Coffee shop
    Some doctors allow ice cream after a tonsillectomy, some don't. There are studies to back both.
    I feed cabbage. A lot of it. As far as citrus, I think it would give them the runs.
    All I can say is don't feed too much of anything. Cabbage is cheap, and works for me to battle boredom when there is too much snow for them to want outside. One or two heads a week for 17 LF chickens.
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2013
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Practically everything you or the chickens eat contains something that can harm you or them. Cabbage has something that messes with your thyroid. Many people eat cabbage and never have thyroid problems. How can that be?

    Dosage. You would have to eat a few pounds of cabbage every day for a few weeks for it to harm you. Your chickens would have to eat a whole lot of cabbage every day for a while for it to harm them.

    Your solution. Don’t give them a steady diet of nothing but cabbage. Let them have something else to eat. Feed them a balanced diet. Feed things other than the chicken feed (which is a balanced diet) in moderation.
    1 person likes this.
  4. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2011
    Taylors, SC
    If they have sufficient free choice, I doubt they will eat the bad stuff or too much of it. We have plants in our yard that are poisonous for chickens. They don't eat them. They eat everything else.

    I have looked at the bad food list and conclude that the amount they eat is the key. I have tried citrus with mine. They just don't eat it. They will go through a cabbage or other green leafy plant like it was candy.

    Choice, balance, and moderation. Mine always have plenty of chicken food in the feeder 24 hours a day, so they never have to eat anything else. I have to feed the dogs, before I let the chickens out. They like the dogs' food.


    NYREDS Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 14, 2008
    Cabbage is on the list because the person who put it on the list was wrong. Just because something is on a list doesn't make it fact. This is especially true of lists found on the internet.
    In mu half century of experience with several thousand chickens I've never known of one eating anything that was harmful. Like other animals [I know they're birds-don't bother] they have instinctive knowledge of what they can eat.
    Use some common sense, which isn't as common as you'd think. People will tell you that you shouldn't give them stale crackers because they're too salty. They're too salty to comprise a total diet but the last few crackers in that box won't do them any harm. Common sense.
  6. marlo1968

    marlo1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2012
    Lorenzo, TX
    The old addage "Everything in moderation" applies here. If you eat one one kind of food for an extended period of time, you won't feel well. If you eat a well balanced diet, with those things that aren't so good for you (ie - candy, desserts, other sweets) eated in moderation, you will be fine. Same for other creatures.
  7. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    That's quite a list. I think a list of what isn't toxic would have been far shorter. Kale and mustard are also on the list, both of which my girls have eaten many times with no bad results. Of course, they didn't have a huge amount and it wasn't their only source of food.

    The page says the info is reproduced from "The Reptile Keepers Handbook", published 1996. Thankfully it doesn't recommend that we get them a heated rock.

    Thinking the girls already have an idea of what they shouldn't eat. I've noticed they'll avoid some plants totally and figure they know what isn't good for them.
  8. mrsc1951

    mrsc1951 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2011
    Largo, Florida
    I totally agree that common sense has to come into play. I live in SW Florida and have neighbors on two sides with orange trees. My girls get an orange here and there and eat every bite of it. There are seven of them and they get one orange every couple of weeks during the "season". They also get a balanced diet along with other treats given occasionally. I've had them for over two years and there have been no problems from giving them the occasional orange.
  9. Preserving Life

    Preserving Life New Egg

    Mar 20, 2013
    I agree with a lot of the reasons for not over-reacting to lists about toxic vegetables for chickens. We give our chickens the "Grade C" produce from the garden, which includes everything--cabbage too. It's supplemental to their feed--or maybe their feed is supplemental to the produce whenever we have it to offer them. I'd like to think they still have enough instinct to avoid things that would be truly toxic, but that may be hoping for too much. I mean, how many of us overeat sugar, salt, and the stuff they put in Diet soda??

    But I admire your desire to get it right--and care for your chickens well.
  10. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by