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Toxic Plants

mrott91mrott91 Junior Member
edited October 2011 in Producers and Vets
I just have a few backyard chickens which I started in April 2011. I'm concerned because I'm pretty sure my chickens have been eating Braken or Brake ferns. The ferns appear on a serveral toxic plants lists online. To make a long story a short posting what I want to know is, if the chickens have been harmed due to their consumption of these ferns and can/will I be harmed eating their eggs from passage through to the eggs? I no longer let them free range so they no longer can have access to the ferns. Bummer!!


  • sandiesbrahmassandiesbrahmas Super Moderator
    edited August 2011
    I don't think that chickens usually will eat a lot of bracken as, apparently they generally don't like it and will only eat it if there is absolutely no other green stuff available. We have bracken in some of our hedges , and the chickens leave it well alone.

    Other ferns don't necessarily contain the potentially carcinogenic ptaquiloside.

    As an interesting aside , the young boiled fiddleheads are eaten by the Japanese, usually with rice. It is speculated that this may be the cause of the higher incidence of stomach and oesophageal cancer in Japanese people (However, I think the Japanese still have the longest life expectancy in the world, so maybe I'll boil up some bracken tonight!)

    Does it get into the eggs? Don't know, but it does get into the milk of bracken eating cows.

  • LittlechickLittlechick Senior Member
    edited August 2011
    On the same toxic vegetation theme - I noticed a Black Rock eating one of the fruits from the Laurel tree (purple, looks a bit like a dark cherry). I think they are poisonous to humans as the laurel is generally toxic, does the same apply to hens? One of the batties picked up another fruit but didn't like it and dropped it. More sensible?
  • WililieWililie Junior Member
    edited September 2011
    Did you know that there are actually over 700 plants that can be poisonous or toxic to your pet? That size of a number seems almost incomprehensible and makes you wonder if there are actually any plants left over that are NOT poisonous to animals! The most important thing for you do to when assessing your current plant situation, is to dig a little bit deeper and find out exactly how toxic certain plants can be and how they can affect your animal.
  • aaincestaaincest Junior Member
    edited October 2011
    Some toxic plant which are causing harm to animals:
    1) Astragalus
    2) Oleander
    3) Amaryllis
    4) Buckeyes
    5) Calla lily
  • LittlechickLittlechick Senior Member
    edited October 2011
    When I let my girls up onto the patio for a week at the end of summer, they ate the tomato leaves and tomatoes. They stripped the plants bare. I had some hanging baskets on their last legs so put those in their area to eat last week. Reading a book yesterday I discovered that tomato leaves are poisonous for hens!!! (same family as potatoes where the leaves are poisonous - my girls eat potato leaves as well). Well, no signs that any of them are ill. Earlier in the year they decimated my rhubarb plants by eating all the leaves. I don't think that is supposed to be a good idea either but perhaps it had a cleansing effect on their guts.
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