Have you got backyard hens or plan to get some? The Chicken Whisperer’s Guide to Keeping Chickens lists beneficial plants that act as natural insecticides around chicken coops, as well as poisonous plants to avoid around hens.
Ever wonder what determines the color of a chicken egg? It depends on the breed of the hen.
Keeping Backyard Hens Safe
Images and the book excerpt in this post are provided with permission from Quarto Book Publishing USA who also provided a review copy of The Chicken Whisperer’s Guide to Keeping Chickens by Andy G. Schneider and Dr. Brigid McCrea, Ph.D.
When we think about keeping our backyard hens safe, we look at housing and fencing to protect them from predators. But what about common plants that can be harmful to hens? With appetites for anything they can get their beaks on, it’s important to ensure poisonous or harmful plants are not growing in their midst.
The helpful plants are natural insecticides that help reduce mites and lice that otherwise may cause health problems for chickens. These plants should be placed outside the chicken’s range, so they are not eaten by the hens but can offer protection.
In terms of plants and tress to place around—not in—your coop, consider these, which have natural insecticidal properties.
These plants aren’t good for your chickens to eat, but they may prevent the forward-march of mites or lice toward your flock.
Finally, let’s look at poisonous plants. Because they’re often difficult for the average homeowner to identify, we recommend consulting your local extension agent or master gardener. Keep in mind that seasonal seeds, pods, or acorns—which you may not see at the time of year when you’re readying your coop—can pose risk, so plan ahead when you are choosing a site for your coop.
The toxicity of these plants may be restricted to their seed, a particular part of the plant, or a stage of growth, so read up before landscaping with some of these plants. It’s not necessarily the first bit you should worry about, but rather chickens consuming larger quantities over time.
Shown here are some poisonous plants to remove from your yard.
Everything you need to know… and didn’t know you needed to know about backyard and urban chickens.
Hens make wonderful pets.
Keep them safe, healthy, and happy.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛