Can Chickens Eat Rhubarb? -Separating Myth from Fact

Despite popular belief, chickens eat more than simply grains, meat, & bugs. In addition to animals, they also consume plant matter. On the other hand, rhubarb isn’t a plant that chickens can eat. 

Rhubarb is a sour vegetable that is often used in sweets due to its high nutritional value. This harsh rhubarb can be transformed into a delicious pie with the addition of sugar, the right amount of time, and several excellent recipes. 

Rhubarb can also be used medicinally on occasion. Despite a lack of scientific proof, the plant was traditionally employed as a laxative in China. The plant food is mostly water, with some protein and carbs thrown in for good measure. Vitamins K & C are present, too. 

Rhubarb has risen to the top of the vegetable food chain due to its high nutrient content and wealth of health advantages. Unfortunately, your cherished chickens aren’t suited to a diet of rhubarb. 

Reasons, Why Rhubarb Are Not Suitable For Chickens –

Although rhubarbs have long been used in medicine, chickens should not consume them due to the presence of oxalic acid. Fruits and vegetables include naturally occurring oxalic acids, which are toxic to both humans & hens.

An interesting tidbit regarding Oxalic acid is presented here. Bleaching soap has oxalic acid as one of its components. It’s also useful in the laundry room for getting rid of rust as well as other metal-related stains.

Chickens are extremely sensitive to oxalic acid, a powerful chemical molecule. While rhubarb leaves contain a very high concentration of oxalic acid, rhubarb stalks contain a much lower concentration. If you grow rhubarb for your chickens, only the stalks should be fed to them and not the leaves. However, moderation is key when consuming it.

Can Chickens Eat Rhubarb

How Chickens Eat The Rhubarb –

Chickens often scratch the ground & peck at it in an effort to explore its surface and, maybe, uncover some food. The chickens’ tendency to do this is hardwired into them. They naturally follow their gut feelings. 

Unless the food is safe for human consumption, a chicken will quickly consume everything you serve it. Chickens have the same basic needs as any other species. Like dogs, they will just ignore the undesirable fare. But just like dogs might get caught in a hazardous food trap, chickens can get sick if they eat something they shouldn’t. The chicken should be kept far away from the rhubarb plants due to these qualities. 

Things Might Happen If Chickens Consume Rhubarb –

Two to four kilograms of rhubarb is the maximum safe amount to eat in one sitting for a human. While most animals can tolerate small amounts of rhubarb, chickens are so delicate that even a small amount can be fatal. They may experience diarrhea, bleeding, tremors, excessive salivation, & possibly jaundice as a result. 

Poultry is also susceptible to jaundice. Chickens react rapidly to rhubarb consumption. However, if you don’t cure the problem, it could worsen into a fatal condition for the chicken. 

Tips to Treat A Rhubarb-Poisoned Chicken –

A list of possible treatments for a listless chicken would be too long to include here. Poisoning a chicken can be treated by making it drink a flush. Laxatives like these concoctions will help your chicken eliminate the toxins from its system without stress. 

Tips to Save the Chicken with a Simple & Effective Poison Flush –

Unlike regular salt, Epsom salts have unique properties. Epsom salts made up of magnesium, sulfur, & oxygen, are commonly used for their beneficial effects on health. Epsom salt helps with digestive difficulties, which is just one of its many benefits. 

A molasses-flavored gusher. Molasses is the sugar cane and sugar beet industry’s sweet syrupy byproduct. The most beneficial minerals and vitamins are obtained in the second boiling stage of sugar extraction. 

Foods That Chickens Can Easily Consume –

You might need to be more involved in the meal preparation process while treating a sick or recuperating chicken. If you want to assist them to regain their appetite, you’ll have to be more convincing when feeding them.

In any case, if they don’t eat, their stomach will eventually get so empty & growly that they will cease producing hydrochloric acid, which is bad news. Adding hydrochloric acid to the chicken’s diet will lower the PH of its stomach, making it easier for your bird to fend off the hazardous bacteria that live there. 

You May Also Read:

Can Chickens Eat Lentils? A Guide to Feeding Lentils to Chickens

Can Chickens Eat Rhubarb

Way To Protect Hens From The Rhubarb Plant –

You can protect your chickens from poisonous rhubarb by following these four simple procedures. 

  • Lock up your hens –

Do not let the chickens near your garden. You should keep them out of the garden because there are other plants besides rhubarb that are poisonous to them. 

  • Limit their food intake – 

You should limit the number of veggies and other plants your chickens get. Make sure the vegetables are completely safe to eat before feeding them in large quantities. 

  • Master the plant world – 

In most cases, raising chickens and tending a garden are complementary activities. As a result, allowing your chickens full range of the garden is very normal. If your chickens are free to wander the entire yard, you must keep them away from or get rid of any poisonous plants. 

  • Never sow – 

In the event that you have pets & animals, including hens, and you’ve not tried growing rhubarb yet or are still intending to do so, you should probably abandon such plans. 

These are the Top Picks for Chicken-Friendly Foods: 

  • Sage 

One of the most underappreciated herbs is sage. Sage, as you probably know, has anti-salmonella properties. Since hens are susceptible to contracting salmonella, placing sage around your flock can help reduce the prevalence of the disease. The chicken’s immune system will thank you, too! 

  • Sunflowers 

In a sense, sunflowers are like a two-for-one deal. If you have hens, they’ll love snacking on those sunflower seeds. The nutritional richness of the seed can boost the chickens’ resistance to disease. The sunflowers will also provide much-appreciated shade for your hens. 

  • Thyme 

One more often-overlooked herb that belongs in your poultry kitchen is thyme. There is a component in thyme that repels insects. However, Thyme is the finest plant to surround the chicken because of its antibiotic & antibacterial characteristics, which will aid your chicken in fending off respiratory infections. 

If you want to make sure your chicken is fully secure, you’ll need to research more than 100 different plants, ranking them from best to worst. 

FAQ

Can Rhubarb Kill A Chicken? 

Yes. If untreated, chickens fed rhubarb could die from poisoning. 

Can Chickens Eat Cooked Rhubarb?

No. No matter how much oxalic acid in the rhubarb is reduced while cooking, it should not be given to the hens. Always err on the side of caution. 

Which Plants are Most Dangerous for Hens to Avoid?

Chickens can develop anemia & liver problems from eating onions due to the presence of thiosulphate, a chemical component found in onions. 

Even though they’re good for humans, poultry should never eat raw beans. The phytohaemagglutinin it carries is highly toxic to poultry. The chicken will die within an hour after eating just four raw beans, making this plant much more dangerous than rhubarb. 

Which Plants are ideal for Chickens to Eat? 

Like parenting a human child, caring for chickens requires time and attention. All the weight of responsibility for the chickens’ health and well-being rests squarely on your shoulders. Wherever you choose to keep your chickens, they have a right to a diet that includes the best possible vegetables for their species. 

Conclusion 

Rhubarb stalks, in moderation, are safe for chickens to eat. Rhubarb leaves, however, are unhealthy due to their high oxalic acid content. The chickens should be treated immediately with Epsom Salt Flush & Molasses Flush if they ingest any rhubarb and become poisoned.

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