14 Poisonous Plants Your Chicken Flock Needs to Avoid

Most of the plants you add to your garden beds are chicken-safe, and your chickens will feast on them, even if you don’t want them. However, chicken owners should be aware of poisonous plants that can harm their chickens.

Under most circumstances, free-range chickens avoid eating poisonous plants, but that doesn’t mean you want to keep plants nearby. Make sure you never feed these plants to your chickens and avoid growing them in an area where your chickens are confined.

ready? Let’s take a look at which poisonous plants your flock should avoid.

Is poisonous death the same?

It is a common misconception that eating something poisonous causes death. This isn’t always true.

When we talk about plants that are toxic to chickens, many create diseases that can potentially make your flock sick or, yes, eventually lead to death. But not necessary.

For example, trouble breathing from poisonous plants will not last forever. If your chicken has access to medical care, there is a good chance she will get it.

Now, this doesn’t mean you want your chickens to eat any of these plants, but understand that if they do consume them, all hope is not lost. This does not apply to all plants; Some are deadly! And of course, you want to avoid plants that cause any sort of problem, right? No one wants their poor chicken to get sick.

14 Poisonous Plants Chickens Shouldn’t Eat

It’s always good to know if there are plants that are toxic to chickens on your property. Make sure you keep your shrub away from these plants to avoid any disease or possible death in your shrub.

While not all of them can be deadly, you should avoid growing the following plants if you let your chickens run free on your property.

1. Apricot

Most fruits are safe for chickens; I sure love apples. But never give pits or leaves of apricot tree to your flock. They contain glycosides, a compound toxic to chickens that causes seizures, low blood pressure, and breathing problems.

If you have chickens, it is possible to grow apricots, but make sure you put up chicken-proof fencing to prevent them from entering your garden.

2. Azalea

One of the most common flowering deciduous shrubs is azaleas. You can find them in landscaping throughout America because they produce intensely colored flowers in early spring. There used to be more than 10 azaleas in front of our house; they were beautiful!

The problem is that all parts of the oregano plant are highly toxic to your chickens. This leads to stomach problems, overall weakness, loss of coordination and heart damage. Always keep your oregano bushes away from your shrubbery.

3. Beans

To be honest, it surprised me. I never thought beans would be on the list of poisonous plants for chickens, but it turns out that raw beans are poisonous because they contain hemagglutinin. This is a toxic compound for chickens.

That doesn’t mean you can’t grow beans; I definitely do!

But you should keep your chickens out of any garden that contains beans and never feed raw or undercooked beans to your chickens. However, it is safe to feed them cooked beans!

4. Bulb Flower

When you think of spring flowers, you probably imagine flowers that bloom from bulbs. Unfortunately, many of these are poisonous plants for chickens. Examples of bulb flowers that your chickens should not eat include daffodils, iris, tulips and narcissus.

Why are bulb flowers poisonous to chickens?

They contain a chemical called alkaloids that cause low blood pressure, tremors, and diarrhea. Make sure you plant these flowers away from the area where your chickens forage.

5. Fern

Not all ferns are poisonous plants to chickens, but broken ferns are poisonous. These plants cause anemia, weight loss, and muscle tremors, but usually, chickens have to consume large amounts for this to happen.

The problem with bracken ferns is that they are a perennial, invasive fern that grows throughout the United States. It usually grows in pastures, forests and rangelands, so if you have free-range chickens, it is possible that they may have come into contact with bracken ferns.

You need to be vigilant and make sure you remove broken ferns when you find them on your property.

6. Foxglove

Foxglove is a perennial or biennial plant that grows up to 8 feet tall, producing beautiful tubular-shaped flowers with speckled interiors. These flowers bloom in summer, look gorgeous in your flower gardens.

There is one major problem with foxglove.

The entire plant, including the seeds, flowers, stems and leaves, is toxic to chickens. Since these plants readily regrow themselves every year, you need to make sure you don’t let them grow anywhere your chickens can reach them.

7. Holi

Holly is most commonly associated with Christmas and decorations, but they grow as a native shrub throughout the United States, especially in the southeastern states. This plant contains low levels of toxic compounds called saponins that cause vomiting, diarrhea and salivation.

8. Lobelia

Lobelia is a beautiful flower that produces flowers in shades of blue, purple, white or red; It is commonly found in containers and butterfly gardens. There are some trailing varieties that grow up to three feet tall.

Despite its beauty, lobelia contains toxins called pyridine alkaloids, which have been known to cause tremors, weakness, rapid breathing rates, and lack of coordination. It is a good idea to keep your chickens away from these flowers if they forage in your flower beds.

9. Lupine

One of my favorite perennials is lupine, which grows up to two feet tall with bonnet-shaped flowers on tall spikes. Flowers usually come in dark blue and purple, but some varieties are white or pinkish.

All parts of lupine plants are toxic to chickens because they contain a compound called quinolizidine alkaloids. This toxin causes nervousness, wandering, twitching and convulsions in poultry.

While lupine is a popular plant in flower gardens, it grows wildly in mountainous regions. If you find it growing wild in your area, know that it is invasive and difficult to stop, so keep your chickens away from where they grow.

10. Nightshade

The nightshade family is large with over 70 different plant varieties, including tomatoes, peppers and eggplants. All nightshade plants contain alkaloids that can cause your chickens to lose appetite, increase saliva, weaken the heart rate and cause trouble breathing.

Now, let’s talk about these poisonous plants for chickens because chances are you have given your flock some fruits from these plants.

Throwing a few tomatoes into your flock won’t kill them, but it shouldn’t be the primary source of family behavior. Raw potato peels are a no-no chicken treat that you should never give to your flock.

Take care to learn about other nightshade plants growing in your area. They are generally recognized by their five-lobed white and purple flowers and green fruits that turn yellow or black at maturity.

11. Oak Trees

If you have an oak tree on your property, be careful; These are poisonous plants for chickens. Mature oak trees have a canopy that is about 100 feet wide and 80 feet tall, meaning the leaves are spread throughout your property.

Oak leaves and acorns contain tannic acid which causes loss of appetite, frequent urination, excessive thirst and diarrhea. I’m sure your chickens don’t want to experience this, but it’s hard to stop without cutting down trees. Try to keep their escape away from the acorns.

12. Periwinkle

You may know this plant as creeping myrtle, vinca or periwinkle, but regardless, it is an adorable ground cover with dark green leaves and blue or white flowers that bloom in early spring. The problem with periwinkle is that it contains glycosides, a toxic compound that causes tremors, seizures, and even death.

Yes, this plant can cause death, so keep it away from your chickens. Don’t mess

13. rhubarb

I like rhubarb; It makes delicious pies and jams in the spring, but rhubarb leaves contain oxalic acid, which is known to be toxic to chickens. If eaten, this plant causes jaundice, shivering and increased salivation.

Don’t stop growing rhubarb just because you have chickens; Simply block access with fencing.

14. U

Yew is sometimes called the “tree of death” and, with such a name, you know it is highly poisonous. Japanese yew is the most common variety in the US, and all parts of this plant are poisonous to chickens.

Some plants contain cardiotoxic taxin alkaloids that cause cardiac arrhythmias and death. This compound is fast acting and when consumed in small amounts causes rapid death in your chickens. It can also kill cows, horses, dogs and humans.

This is one of those plants that I recommend that you remove from your property completely. While many other plants will cause problems, they do not cause death after low consumption, but some do.

15. Elderberry

One thing you may have read is that elderberries are toxic to chickens, but this is not entirely true. Elderberries are safe for chickens in moderation. It is a poisonous plant, but giving your chickens a few berries will not harm them.

However, in large quantities, it can kill your chicken.

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