Certain Plants And Chickens Don’t Go Together

Author: Meera, December 19, 2013


Chickens need additional calcium in their diets to produce firm shells

Chickens love scratching the dirt for culinary treats like seeds, berries, and grubs



Chickens are curious creatures. Spend a hour watching them scratch, poke, and peck and you’ll see what I mean.



I’ve never lost a free-range chicken because of something it ate; but it seems as though they’ll eat anything. It got me thinking that a variety of plants commonly grown in landscapes and backyard gardens could make chickens ill if they ate the berries, nuts, or leaves of those plants.



Rhubarb leaves are poisonous

Rhubarb leaves are poisonous



The following represents a small sampling of common plants that could make your feathered friends sick or even poison them.


  • Acorn
  • Alfalfa
  • Azalea
  • Daffodil
  • Eggplant
  • Foxglove
  • Hemlock
  • Jasmine
  • Jimson Weed
  • Lamb’s Quarters
  • Lantana
  • Milkweed
  • Nicotiana (tobacco)
  • Oleander
  • Oxalis
  • Poison Ivy
  • Poison Oak
  • Pokeweed
  • Pyracantha
  • Red Maple
  • Rhubarb
  • Sweet Pea
  • Tulip
  • Wild Onion
  • Wisteria


Chickens are foraging birds and have good natural instincts. They will taste a plant and if something isn’t right, they’ll likely leave it. If you allow them to forage for themselves in pasture, more often than not, they’ll eschew the poisonous plants in your garden or landscape for the rich diversity of what they find in open pastureland.


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