You may enjoy rhubarb, but did you know that it is harmful to chickens? While many plants can be safely fed to your chicken as a treat, some foods should be avoided.
What precisely is rhubarb?
Rhubarb is a buckwheat-related vegetable.
It is a perennial plant that grows in temperate sections of the earth and is native to Asia, although it has been grown for millennia in other parts of the world.
Rhubarb grows in a thick stem that can be up to 3 feet long and has deep green leaves on top. The bottom of this stem is white when raw and red when cooked. The stalks can also be eaten—they have a similar texture as celery!
Why are chickens unable to consume rhubarb?
Rhubarb is harmful to chickens and other animals, including humans.
Rhubarb contains oxalic acid, which can induce renal failure in chickens. Convulsions and mortality are symptoms of poisoning.
Rhubarb is also poisonous to dogs.
What occurs when chickens consume rhubarb?
Do not be alarmed if you fear your hens have eaten rhubarb. Although the plant can cause digestive discomfort and other unpleasant symptoms in your flock, if treated immediately, it is unlikely to be lethal.
Is it possible for a chicken to die after eating rhubarb?
Chickens who ingest an excessive amount of rhubarb may develop diarrhea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing (which could lead to anemia). If left untreated for too long, this condition can lead to muscular paralysis or respiratory failure.
Finally, kidney failure may occur as a result of a high intake of oxalic acid—a component of rhubarb plants—by hens over time; this would result in death if not treated.
Is cooked rhubarb safe for chicken?
Rhubarb is often used in pies, jams, and other sweets. While cooked rhubarb is okay for humans, it is not safe for hens and roosters.
Which plants should chickens avoid?
The following are the most prevalent poisonous plants for chickens:
- Autumn Crocus
- Azalea and Rhododendron
- Calla Lily
- Castor Bean Plant
- Chrysanthemum and Hemerocallis (Daylily)
- Daffodil and Narcissus (Daffodil)
- Delphiniums (Larkspur)
- Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane)
- Elderberry and Elderberries (Sambucus)
- Ficus Alii Bonsai Tree & Fig Tree (Ficus Alii)
- Kalanchoe flowering plant & Kalanchoe Daigremontiana flowering plant
- Lilies of the Valley
What are the finest plants to feed chickens?
Chickens love to eat fresh greens. But not all plants are safe for chickens. Here’s a list of the best plants to feed them:
Wheatgrass is one of the healthiest foods you can feed your chickens. It contains many vitamins and minerals that help strengthen their immune system, improve egg production and provide energy for laying eggs. Wheatgrass also contains chlorophyll, which helps purify blood cells and keep them healthy.
Chickens love lettuce because it is easy to digest and full of nutrients such as calcium and vitamin A. Lettuce is also a good source of fiber which helps prevent heart disease.
Cabbage is another favorite food among chickens because it contains beta-carotene. It also contains vitamins A and C which help boost the immune system and fight off diseases like parasites or worms that may infect your chicken flock.
To sum up, the leaves, stems, and roots of rhubarb are poisonous to chickens.
You should avoid at any cost letting your chickens come close to rhubarb.
Shannon Stansberry has been engaged in the business of raising chickens for more than 12 years. In 2016, she accomplished the Agriculture & Natural Resources program at Mt. San Antonio College. At present, she tends to more than 80 chickens on her 4-hectare farm. Shannon regularly shares her insights and experience on how to raise healthy and contented chickens on the platform Typesofchickens.com