Will eating ferns hurt chicks

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by nova022, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, I have seven week old chicks who love to eat my emerald ferns, (they look like a boston fern). Does anyone know if they are harmful for them to eat. Also wisteria leaves seem to be a favorite of one of the pullets. Thanks for any help.
     
  2. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    i know that bracken ferns have cyanide in them and they also have many other lethal poisons and toxins, so defiantly DON"T give Bracken to chickens or any animal really. I am not really sure if Emerald (asparagus fern) is poisonous to chickens though. But do you know any other ferns that are poisonous to chickens because i have heaps of ferns here and i am not sure if i can give them to my hens, and i don't know if there poisonous or what kind/type they are?
     
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I'm not 100% if it's the fern I'm thinking off. It makes little red berries? Those berries are poisonous.
     
  4. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    This is the fern I am wondering about. My yard is full of them. I am trying to google them and so far I haven't found anything that says one way or the other. Does anyone know if they are harmful to chickens? Thanks
     
  5. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I found the answer to my question

    Toxic to animals: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) Animal Poison Control Center has determined that asparagus fern, emerald fern, emerald feather, lace fern, and plumosa fern “have been reported as having systemic effects on animals and/or intense effects on the gastrointestinal tract.” —ASPCA

    That leads me to my next question. As I said my yard is full of them. Will the chickens know not to eat them when they free range? They do seem attracted to the ones that grow close to their run that they can sometimes pull through the wire. I will certainly move those today.
     
  6. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    yes these are the ones that i am talking about we have so many in our garden, i am also trying to find out if there poisonous but cant find anything. i My hens some leafs from this fern and they were fine but i am still not sure.
     
  7. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    chickens will eat anything really but if you have plenty of grass and better things to eat then they will eat that. They would only eat the emerald fern if it was the last thing in the garden.
     
  8. nova022

    nova022 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is a relief. I have lots of other good things for them to eat and planted collards and turnips so they can have greens over the winter. Thanks for the info.
     
  9. KennyCouch

    KennyCouch Out Of The Brooder

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    None of these are true ferns but are forms of asparagus, except potentially the lace fern. But I'm assuming the ASPCA is referring to something like Asparagus setaceus as opposed to Microlepia strigosa when they mention lace fern. I'll look around the ASPCA website sometime and see if maybe they have something listing the scientific names.
    Asparagus, emerald, emerald feather and plumosa ferns are definitely asparagus. I wonder about true ferns...

    I'm a big fan of ferns an was wondering this myself. Did your ferns ever end up proving harmful to your chicks?

    Wikipedia has an interesting article listing a few species of ferns used for human consumption, "fiddlehead greens".
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiddlehead_fern
     
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    The fern that the op was referring to back 3 years ago is a Nephrolepis Obliterata.
    The "emerald fern" the aspca named is one of the many names for the Asparagus Setaceus.
    Also the, "lace fern" that the aspca named is the Asparagus Setaceus not the true lace fern Microlepia strigosa.
     

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