Chickens and Plant Toxins
Yes, those eating machines can’t tell the difference between what is food and what is not. This is one of those times where prevention is key–much better to be preventive than reactive. If you can think of it, own it, drop it or forget about it and it’s in the proximity to where your chickens wander about, yes, they will eat it. We’re talking about screws, bottle caps, cigarette butts, tree branches and paper clips. The best and clearest advice is to keep your chickens in an area where there is nothing harmful for them to ingest. If you’re new to the idea of backyard chickening then you will learn that chickens will instinctively swallow small rocks and pebbles, this is because your new feathered family members do not have teeth and as far as chicken anatomy goes, these pebbles will find their way into the gizzard which is a second stomach and help grind down the food that was swallowed hole.
But what about my Chickens and Plant Toxins like the page suggests?
I got you.
What in your garden or yard should your chickens stay away from? Or, what should I plant in my yard that won’t be harmful if ingested by my chickens? These are fantastic questions and the thing you need to remember is… If they can get to it, they will eat it.
If you happened to have purchased one of our newer Chicken Coops, The Rooftop Garden, Thank you! Then you know we combined two great things about a backyard; Chickens and a garden. If you haven’t purchased one yet, it is the latest in the Pointe Elizabeth line of products that have debuted this year. While big in run space the nesting box is perfect for 2-3 chickens allowing for humane treatment of your chickens. Read more about our Humane Chicken Coop Campaign Here. It’s perfect for almost any size backyard and the best part is, you won’t be giving up you garden space to house your chickens. But! What should you plant?
***Note*** Even using these garden coops, if the chickens are free to roam about the yard they will find a way to the top of the coops and eat what is planted there. We definitely want you to enjoy both experiences of chickens and a garden. Again, prevention is all too important in protecting your garden from chickens too. ***End Note***
There is an extensive list of poisonous plants over at BackyardChickens.com it’s informative and well worth your time. Use your judgement and it’s also incredibly important to know your surroundings. Your local bookstore usually carries a guide to native plant life. This is important when identifying all types of plants in your backyard that were inherited when you moved in. Chickens and Plant Toxins do not mix. Your chickens will feel like family members in no time and deserved to be treated as such.
Also toxic to chickens are apricot leaves and pits. While they will enjoy the fruit, most fruits actually, stay away from the other parts of the tree. It is also known that those of you that live in cold weather climates, be aware as a hard frost or freeze can intensify the toxicity within certain plants. Chickens and Plant Toxins are especially important when it comes to tomatoes. Chickens love tomatoes. It’s a special treat and they will eat them up if they get to them in your yard. BUT! The tomato plant itself is quite poisonous to chickens.
Herbs tend to be too fragrant for chickens to want to eat. Doesn’t mean they won’t have a taste but they usually stay away. Plus, when they do have a craving for herbs their poop will tend to smell like the plant. Your chickens very well may pass sweet mint poop.
How do you prevent chickens from eating toxic plants. Add your comments below.
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