Oak Trees, Acorns, & Chickens…

“First of all I would like to say how much I like the newsletter. I look forward to receiving it. I have about eight chickens in my garden, the coop will have a covered run of eighteen feet long by six feet wide and six foot six high.

The problem I have is that near to my garden is a massive oak tree which drops a lot of acorns. I know the coop and run will be covered, but have I got to make sure no acorns get into the run? I hope to hear from you soon.” ~ Graham in Essex England.

Hi Graham,

I’m glad you wrote and you are right to be concerned about the oak tree.

You would absolutely need to make sure your chickens do not eat any dropped acorns.

Oak leaves as well as acorns can be toxic to chickens and as chickens are very curious eaters, you can’t assume that they will know to keep away from them.

Chickens will eat most anything!

This would include screws, Styrofoam, most anything so everyone LISTEN – make sure your chickens have an area that is completely free from anything they should not ingest.

When it comes to plants though, I know that personally I tend to not be quite as vigilant.

Especially if it is a plant that I’ve planted in my garden.

For this reason, I think it would be a good idea to re-post a list of plants that are toxic to poultry. We posted this list quite some time ago but because we have so many new readers each week and because we could all use a reminder, check out this list for the safety of your flock.

  • ARUM LILY
  • AMARYLLIS
  • ARALIA
  • ARROWHEAD VINE
  • AUTUMN CROCUS
  • AUSTRALIAN FLAMETREE
  • AUSTRALIAN UMBRELLA TREE
  • AVOCADO
  • AZALEA
  • BANEBERRY
  • BEANS: (CASTOR, HORSE, FAVA, BROAD, GLORY, SCARLET RUNNER, MESCAL, NAVY, PREGATORY)
  • BIRD OF PARADISE
  • BISHOP’S WEED
  • BLACK LAUREL
  • BLACK LOCUST
  • BLEEDING HEART OR DUTCHMAN’S BREECHES
  • BLOODROOT
  • BLUEBONNET
  • BLUEGREEN ALGAE
  • BOXWOOD
  • BRACKEN FERN
  • BUCKTHORN
  • BULB FLOWERS: (AMARYLLIS, DAFFODIL, NARCISSUS, HYACINTH & IRIS)
  • BURDOCK
  • BUTTERCUP
  • CACAO
  • CAMEL BUSH
  • CASTOR BEAN
  • CALADIUM
  • CANA LILY
  • CARDINAL FLOWER
  • CHALICE (TRUMPET VINE)
  • CHERRY TREE
  • CHINA BERRY TREE
  • CHRISTMAS CANDLE
  • CLEMATIS (VIRGINIA BOWER)
  • CLIVIA
  • COCKLEBUR
  • COFFEE (SENNA)
  • COFFEE BEAN (RATTLEBUSH, RATTLE BOX & COFFEEWEED)
  • CORAL PLANT
  • CORIANDER
  • CORNCOCKLE
  • COYOTILLO
  • COWSLIP
  • CUTLEAF PHILODENDRON
  • DAFFODIL
  • DAPHNE
  • DATURA STRAMONIUM (ANGEL’S TRUMPET)
  • DEATH CAMUS
  • DELPHINIUM
  • DEVIL’S IVY
  • DIEFFENBACHIA (DUMB CANE)
  • ELDERBERRY
  • ELEPHANT EAR (TARO)
  • ENGLISH IVY
  • ERGOT
  • EUCALYPTUS (DRIED, DYED OR TREATED IN FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS)
  • EUONYMUS (SPINDLE TREE)
  • EUPHORBIA CACTUS
  • FALSE HELLEBORE
  • FLAME TREE
  • FELT PLANT (MATERNITY, AIR & PANDA PLANTS)
  • FIG (WEEPING)
  • FIRE THORN
  • FLAMINGO FLOWER
  • FOUR O’CLOCK
  • FOXGLOVE
  • GLOTTIDIUM
  • GOLDEN CHAIN
  • GRASS: (JOHNSON, SORGHUM, SUDAN & BROOM CORN)
  • GROUND CHERRY
  • HEATHS: (KALMIA, LEUCOTHO, PEIRES, RHODODENDRON, MTN. LAUREL, BLACK LAUREL, ANDROMEDA & AZALEA)
  • HELIOTROPE
  • HEMLOCK: (POISON & WATER)
  • HENBANE
  • HOLLY
  • HONEYSUCKLE
  • HORSE CHESTNUT
  • HORSE TAIL
  • HOYA
  • HYACINTH
  • HYDRANGEA
  • IRIS
  • IVY: (ENGLISH & OTHERS)
  • JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT
  • JASMINE (JESSAMINE)
  • JERUSALEM CHERRY
  • JIMSONWEED
  • JUNIPER
  • KY. COFFEE TREE
  • LANTANA (RED SAGE)
  • LARKSPUR
  • LILY OF THE VALLEY
  • LILY, ARUM
  • LOBELIA
  • LOCOWEED (MILK VETCH)
  • LOCUSTS, BLACK / HONEY
  • LORDS & LADIES (CUCKOOPINT)
  • LUPINE
  • MALANGA
  • MARIJUANA (HEMP)
  • MAYAPPLE (MANDRAKE)
  • MEXICAN BREADFRUIT
  • MEXICAN POPPY
  • MILKWEED, COTTON BUSH
  • MISTLETOE
  • MOCK ORANGE
  • MONKSHOOD
  • MOONSEED
  • MORNING GLORY
  • MTN. LAUREL
  • MUSHROOMS, AMANITA
  • MYRTLE
  • NARCISSUS
  • NETTLES
  • NIGHTSHADES: (DEADLY, BLACK, GARDEN, WOODY, BITTERSWEET, EGGPLANT, JERUSALEM CHERRY)
  • OAK
  • OLEANDER
  • OXALIS
  • PARSLEY
  • PEACE LILY
  • PERIWINKLE
  • PHILODENDRONS: (SPLIT LEAF, SWISS CHEESE, HEART-LEAF)
  • PIGWEED
  • POINCIANA
  • POINSETTIA
  • POISON IVY
  • POISON HEMLOCK
  • POISON OAK: (WESTERN & EASTERN)
  • POKEWEED
  • POTATO SHOOTS
  • POTHOS
  • PRIVET
  • PYRACANTHA
  • RAIN TREE
  • RANUNCULUS, BUTTERCUP
  • RAPE
  • RATTLEBOX, CROTALARIA
  • RED MAPLE
  • RED SAGE (LANTANA)
  • RHUBARB LEAVES
  • RHODODENDRONS
  • ROSARY PEA SEEDS
  • SAND BOX TREE
  • SKUNK CABBAGE
  • SORREL (DOCK)
  • SNOW DROP
  • SPURGES: (PENCIL TREE, SNOW-ON-MTN, CANDELABRA, CROWN OF THORNS)
  • STAR OF BETHLEHEM
  • SWEET PEA
  • SWISS CHEESE PLANT (MONSTERA)
  • TANSY RAGWORT
  • TOBACCO
  • UMBRELLA PLANT
  • VETCH: HAIRY/COMMON
  • VIRGINIA CREEPER
  • WATTLE
  • WEEPING FIG
  • WHITE CEDAR, CHINA BERRY
  • WISTERIA
  • YEWS
  • YELLOW JASMINE
  • …I hope you’re still here and read through the list.

    I know that as I typed it, I was reminded of many very common plants that I had forgotten were unsafe for my flock.

    Again for Graham, I applaud you for being concerned about the safety of your flock and hope you can come up with a workable solution for your chickens.

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