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what can't chickens eat?

artsie26artsie26 Junior Member
edited October 2006 in Poultry Health and Welfare
I Let My Chickens Run Around In The Back Yard For A Few Hours During The Day. I Never Thought About What They Were Eating, Just Assuming They Will Be Fine Eating Grasses And Bugs, But Yesterday They Jumped The Fence Around My Garden And Had A Great Time Kicking Up Bugs And Sorting Through Whats Left Of Our Vegetable Garden. The Season Is Over And I Just Let Them Enjoy It. Then I Worried If There Was Anything They Shouldn't Eat In It. I Didn't Use Any Chemicals On The Garden, But There Are A Bunch Of Broken Up Tomatoes And Other Veggies All Over. Should I Keep Them Out? What Is Poisonious To Chickens?
Thanks, Tina


  • crazychickcrazychick Senior Member
    edited October 2006
    Usually they're pretty good at sorting out what they can eat and what they can't, there are some things that you should be aware of. Rotted or composted food can cause botulism- keep them out of your compost pile, if possible. Plants from the nightshade family (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, flowering nicotine...) all are poisonous - just the green parts, not the fruits or tubers. Best not to let them into your tomato patch if they are hungry for greens. If they are just digging under looking for worms, they are probably fine and won't bother the plants at all. If there's no chemicals, then you're fine that way. Mainly, keep an eye out for predators when they're free ranging in your garden- they pose a much bigger threat to your hens than the compost pile.

    As for stuff that they love to eat - fresh corn, romaine lettuce, bread (not huge quantities), cracked corn, wheat, bird seed (and sunflower seeds), dandelions, apples, tomatoes, tofu, cottage cheese, yogurt,... the list goes on. Anything that you would eat, they can eat. If it's moldy or rotten, absolutely not- toss it out and keep them out of it.

    Good luck with your hens,

  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited October 2006
    Snail Pellets or any other source of snail repellent ... kills birds quickly.. even if you put it down sick months ago and can't see it.. they scratch in the ground and peck at the earth... don't allow them in or around any plants you have used these things ok

    Poisonous Plants for Chickens

    Aconitum sp.---monkshood---leaves
    Actea pachypoda---white baneberry, cohosh---berries
    Agrostemma githago---common corn ****le---seeds
    Araujia sericifera---no other info available
    Arisaema triphyllum---jack-in-the-pulpit---roots and stems
    Asclepias mexicana, syriaca, tuberosa, verticillata---milkweed, silkweed, cottonweed---tops more toxic than roots
    Cicula maculata---poison hemlock, spotted hemlock, cowbane, water hemlock---roots and young shoots
    Colchi*** autumnale---Autumn crocus---roots and stems
    Conium maculata---spotted parsley, carrot fern, poison hemlock---all plant parts
    Convallaria majalis---Lily-of-the-Valley---roots and stems
    Cocoa waste
    Crotalaria---250 species---seeds
    Daphne mezereum---february daphne---berries
    Datura stramonium---jimson weed, thorn apple, stinkwort, Jamestown weed---leaves, roots and seeds
    Daubentonia---no other info
    Delphinium sp.---larkspur---foliage
    Dicentra sp.---Bleeding heart, dutchman's breeches---roots and stems
    Digitalis purpurea---foxglove---leaves
    Equisetum arvense, hymale---horsetail, scouring rush---leaves and stems
    Erysimum crepidifolium---hedge mustard---all plant parts
    Eupatorium rugosum---white snakeroot---all plant parts
    Gloriosa superba---gloriosa lily---roots and stems
    Glottidium vesicarium---harper seed---seeds
    Hedera sp.---all english ivies---berries
    Hyacynthus sp.---hyacinth---roots and stems
    Iris sp. ---iris, flags---roots and stems
    Laburnum anagyroides, vulgare---Golden chain tree---whole plant especially the seeds
    Menispermum sp.---moonseed---seeds
    Mustard---this is a huge family of plants---all species should be deemed toxic
    Narcissus sp.---Narcissus, daffodil---roots and stems
    Ornithogalum umbellatum---star-of-Bethlehem---roots and stems
    Petroselinum sp.---parsley--- roots
    Phytolacca americana---pokeberry, poke salad, pokeweed---roots stems and berries
    Podophyllum peltatum---mayapple, mandrake---roots stems and berries
    Rhum sp.---rhubarb---leaves
    Ricinus communis---castor bean---beans (seeds)
    Robinia pseudoacacia---black locust tree---fruit and bark
    Solanum---potatoe---green sprouts
    Solanum nigrum---black nightshade, poisonberry---berries especially when green
    Symplocarpus foetidus---skunk cabbage---foliage
    Taxus sp.---yews---foliage and berries
    Xanthium pennsylvanium---****lebur, sheepbur, clotbur---foliage especially when young

    These sites are a good starting point to find out if the plants would suit your region




    Here is a web site that will list plants that are toxic to your animals---


    All of the above sites will give you really good information about loads of plants of you want to check on them in the future, I have gone onto each site to have a look and liked what I saw
  • Sandy, where are you finding information that Phytolacca americana is poisonous to chickens?  Link, please.
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