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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Monday - November 05, 2012

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Poisonous Plants, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Is horseherb toxic to chickens in Austin, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

My yard is almost completely horseherb (straggler daisy, calyptocarpus vialis) and I am hoping you can tell me if this is safe for chickens to eat? As common as it is here, there is nothing I could find regarding toxicity anywhere in my research- I've looked and looked. Thank you so much

ANSWER:

Whenever we get questions about toxic plants, we go to several toxic plant databases to check out the plants.  I’ve listed some of these below.

Toxic Plants of Texas  

Poisonous Plants of North Carolina 

Cornell University Plants Poisonous to Livestock

You’ll probably notice that these are mostly concerned with plants toxic to humans, dog, cats, horses, cows and perhaps goats.

After some further searching, I found several sites (listed below) that have information about plants toxic to chickens.

Backyard Chickens
   poisonous plants

   toxic plants for chickens

Chickens.wikia.com
    Plants Toxic to Chickens

Omlet 

    list of plants harmful to chickens


The general idea seems to be that while chickens will eat most anything, they tend to avoid that which is harmful. Although Horse herb Calyptocarpus vialis (Straggler daisy) isn’t listed as being toxic in any of the publications above, one might infer that it is non-toxic. That doesn’t completely assure that it isn’t toxic, but it increases the probability that it is non-toxic
Since you have a yard full of horse herb, I’m including some links that will tell you more about this plant.

 Previous Smarty Plants Answer
 
 Greatstems.com

 Native Plant Society of Texas

 

From the Image Gallery


Horseherb
Calyptocarpus vialis

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