poisonous plants

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bashful_badger

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poisonous plants
« on: August 19, 2009, 19:40 »
Hi,

Just wondering what everyone's view on poisonous plants are?  We have completely removed everything in our garden, have reshaped our lawn and I am currently in the process of deciding what plants/flowers I'd like.

Have seen a great long list on the omlet website about poisonous plants and loads of the ones I wanted are on there!

Are they likely to kill chickens?  My hen house went on my garden plan long before any plants did and I'd be devastated if I planted it all up and they ate something that killed them!

I know obviously that they'll prob wreck several of my nice new plants and dig my lovely lawn up etc but hey am sure it'll be worth it even so.

We do have a bit of netting that we got to net the veg area off that is removable so in theory I could net my borders off when they are out in the garden but it seems a shame to restrict them.

I've heard various things from don't have anything poisonous, to chickens don't usually eat poisonous things because they taste bad anyway etc etc and wondered what everyone else's opinion / experience on this was?

Thank you.

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tode

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Re: poisonous plants
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2009, 20:40 »
We've got wolfsbane in the garden, and none of the birds have suffered.
Not even any greenfly, and no slug damage.

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Flowerpower136

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Re: poisonous plants
« Reply #2 on: August 20, 2009, 10:36 »
I am garden mad, it's a passion, and my livlihood, so for me, the main garden and the chickens are separate areas and never the twain shall meet.

I think, personally, that chickens, like humans, will eat what they like and not what they don't like, and just as with humans, this varies from chicken to chicken.

If you are planning a garden with chickens in mind, try to go mainly with shrubs or woody specimens. They will do a little light prunning, but a healthy shrub should survive.

If adding perennials etc, then would strongly advise that you avoid anything known to be poisonous (same goes for a child friendly garden?).  And be prepared for them to decimate the plant, if it happens to be something that takes their fancy.  Mine have seen off the self seeded Welsh Poppies in their pen, but not touched the ferns which are tougher and not so succulent.

Wolfsbane also known as Monks Hood (Aconitum) is a really poisonous plant, and whilst I've got lots of it in my own garden (it's lovely), it is one that I avoid if planning a garden where there are very young children.  It's just not worth the risk.  Whilst slugs seem to have the sense not to eat it, not sure I'd trust young children or chickens to do the right thing!  Tode  Have your hens eaten it and survived? Or do they just not eat it?

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8doubles

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Re: poisonous plants
« Reply #3 on: August 20, 2009, 10:59 »
I think that hens are very resilient as far as poisonous plants go, bird can handle nightshades and other poisonous berries but whether they can pass on toxins in their eggs or meat is another consideration. If a the hens do not like the taste of a plant it does not mean it is safe as they will pull them apart for fun or dig the roots out to get at any worms.
Another favourite with the poopy strimmers is to kick the entire borders onto the lawn at  least twice a day. :mad:

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tode

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Re: poisonous plants
« Reply #4 on: August 20, 2009, 11:14 »
The wolfsbane is the only thing in the garden to have beautiful pristine glossy green leaves  :lol: :lol:
The birds cant have tried it, because there's not a mark on the leaves !!
We've no children now (just the wife  ;) ) so not too worried, but wouldn't have planted it if we'd had small kids.
Got it by mistake, anyway: thought I'd bought 12 delphiniums, but some joker had mixed in wolfsbane in the tray  ::)
Grows well in shade though, and, as I say, really green leaves.

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Flowerpower136

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Re: poisonous plants
« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2009, 12:36 »
The wolfsbane is the only thing in the garden to have beautiful pristine glossy green leaves  :lol: :lol:
The birds cant have tried it, because there's not a mark on the leaves !!
We've no children now (just the wife  ;) ) so not too worried, but wouldn't have planted it if we'd had small kids.
Got it by mistake, anyway: thought I'd bought 12 delphiniums, but some joker had mixed in wolfsbane in the tray  ::)
Grows well in shade though, and, as I say, really green leaves.

It's a brilliant plant, completely slug proof and fool proof!  Doesn't need any staking or messing around, and as you say Tode, very easily mistaken for Delphinium, which is fine by me because that's a much more difficult plant to grow well! 

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viettaclark

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Re: poisonous plants
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2009, 00:06 »
Another favourite with the poopy strimmers is to kick the entire borders onto the lawn at  least twice a day. :mad:
I've deliberately put down bark chippings everywhere, left the Autumn leaves down and water occasionally to attract little beasties for chicken grub. They scratch it all onto the grass complete with  stones and I just come along and rake it back! Means they don't do so much damage to the roots of plants, Good exercise for all of us!
I've also made a big pile of spent compost, grass clippings and leaves that they love to level. They've already scraped out one full open compost box and spread it everywhere so the other is covered now and I'm using bins! They seem to do a rotation of the garden, leaving patches for a couple of days. I'm amazed there are any bugs left!
It's the dust bath holes that can be a bit destructive.....

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Flowerpower136

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Re: poisonous plants
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2009, 17:03 »
Mine are digging a trench round the inside boundary of their pen.  Was worried about foxes digging their way in, but hadn't thought about hens digging their way out!

They mus've been watching Chicken Run again ::)

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Bruced

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Re: poisonous plants
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2009, 20:35 »
Show them the axe / chopping block scene - that usually quietens them down for a while  :D

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lukasmum

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Re: poisonous plants
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2009, 08:28 »

They mus've been watching Chicken Run again ::)

You should've seen my girls flap their way onto the trampoline and launch themselves
over the wire fence we'd erected to pen them in.
They were queueing up!

It was better than the film!



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