List of Plants Are Toxic for Chickens and Ducks
Many people who have pet chickens, pet ducks, or any other bird they wish to keep outside, may be concerned about toxic plants in their yard and garden. These are valid concerns, especially when you have invested so much time in preparing for, getting, and raising, your birds, and is of great concern for people who spend hundreds of dollars on the more exotic birds such as peafowl or rare pheasant breeds.
For the most part it is things other than plants you need to watch out for. For example if you keep both ducks and chickens you must make sure the ducks are not fed chick starter. Chick starter often contains medication that is toxic to ducks.
For the most part you do not have to worry about toxic plants and your birds, they will not eat them. While sheep, goats, and other livestock animals will eat toxic plants, birds rarely do. You have more to worry about throwing something toxic into their coop and having them gulp that down in a rush. Onions and garlic can be problems in this case, but you will note that when the birds are free range they will not bother these plants.
None the less there is no reason to tempt fate. If you would rather be caution here is a list of common plants you should avoid having in your yard, or planting, in addition to the onions and garlic already mentioned.
Most Bulb originating plants are toxic to birds, such as lilies, hyacinth, daffodils.
- Beans – castor beans, fava beans, scarlet runners, navy beans
- Bird of Paradise
- Bleeding Heart
- Cardinal Flower
- Datura – Angels Trumpet
- English Ivy
- Four 'o Clock
- Horse Chestnut
- Jerusalem Cherry
- Lily of the Valley
- Mock Orange
- Morning Glory
- Mushrooms (some)
- Potato plants
- Rhubarb – leaves
- Sorghum Grasses
- Weeping Yew
Many of these plants are also toxic to other animals, including cats and dogs. For the most part they do not pose any threat to our animals, (with the exception of lilies for cats). The main concern is when birds are kept in a dirt pen and are not free ranged, and are not given any fresh grass or other plant matter to nibble, and they have these toxic plants poking through the wires in their enclosure. As such if you are not going to let your birds out you should be sure these plants are not next to their pen, otherwise having the plants in your yard should not be a problem.
I have let my chickens free range for a few years now, we have several of the plants on the list, and have never had a problem.
A bigger concern is pesticides used on insects in your yard that could be consumed, or chemicals used on the weeds (chickens love dandelions).
*Note this is only a partial list of plants that may be toxic to birds, these are the most common plants that would be in a garden.