Just like there are flowers you can feed to your chicken, there are flowers toxic to chickens. Some food, fruits, vegetables, plants, and herbs can be toxic too. Usually chickens are quite smart and will avoid eating things that will hurt them. Their well developed sense of smell helps them know which plants are poisonous. But just in case, prevention is always a good idea.
Be careful about letting chicken free range in an ornamental garden since there you could find more flowers toxic to chickens. It is very important to check what you include in their feed since they will trust you and most likely eat it.
Grow some flowers, vegetables and herbs that chicken like. If they have options, they are less likely to eat anything that may harm them. When chickens are in confinement or have little options, then they may eat toxic flowers. Poisoning in poultry is not common, so don’t go overboard digging up your whole garden.
Flowers Toxic to Chickens
Azaleas and Rhododendron
Azaleas are gorgeous and they will brighten up your garden with colorful flowers. Rhododendron are similar than azaleas but are bigger. So make sure to plant them in areas where your chickens don’t range. If chickens ate these flowers they would loose their appetite, experience weakness and low blood pressure.
One of the prettiest flowers with the most pleasant fresh smell is the hydrangea. Best to put these flowers toxic to chickens in your front yard. Leaves have a high amount of cyanogenic glycosides that can be deadly if consumed in large amounts. Chickens like to dig around their bases to find slugs and bugs.
Sweet pea flowers smell delicious but almost every part of the plant is poisonous, especially the seeds which are even more lethal that flowers and leaves. These flowers toxic to chickens are also toxic to all animals. If chickens eat too many flowers they could get seizures and paralysis.
People plant this perennial with spikes of tubular flowers because of its beauty. It is native to Europe, but is grown worldwide now. Many may mistake it with comfrey. Chickens will probably leave them alone, but it is too risky and livestock will probably eat the leaves. This plant produces aglycones during digestion, which is highly poisonous and can cause heart failure both in animals and humans.
Sadly all bulb flowers are included in the list of flowers toxic to chicken. Tulips (my favorites), daffodils, hyacinth and irises are high in alkaloids and oxalic acid which cause diarrhea, tremors and low blood pressure. Bulbs are what are poisonous so probably your chickens won’t ingest too much, other animals such as livestock, cats and dogs may be more susceptible.
Also in the list of flowers toxic to chicken, periwinkle contains cardiac glycosides that are very toxic. If your chickens eat it, they could get seizures, tremors and perhaps even die. The main problem with periwinkle is that they are creepers so they spread easily and are considered an invasive specie.
St. Johns Wort
This bush perennial has vibrant yellow flowers with five petals and can grow up to 1.5 meters in height. St. Johns Wort is used medicinally in humans (with precaution), but is poisonous to animals if eaten in big quantities. Since chickens eat a lot for their body weight, they have more risk of poisoning.
There are plenty of other flowers such as black nightshade, buttercup, castor bean, clematis, corn cockle, henbane, honeysuckle (**stems, vines and berries of some varieties), lily of the valley, oleander, privet, trumpet vine, daffodil, poppy, clematis, bluebell, amaryllis, boxwood, daphne, ivy, yellow jasmine, lantana, nightshade, lobelias, lupine, vetch and more. If unsure on flowers toxic to chickens, best to research online or ask in forums.