Geraniums are among some of the easiest plants that you can grow in your backyard or in a pot, so these beautiful flowers are quite common in the backyards of chicken keepers. But if you’ve noticed your chickens are pecking at your geraniums or getting close you may be wondering: are geraniums safe for chickens to eat?
Luckily, the only thing you’ll need to worry about is your poor geraniums, because chickens can eat geraniums safely. Some chickens will even visit them regularly for a snack on their daily foraging trips.
Here’s what you need to know about chickens eating geraniums, what other types of flowers are safe, and how to keep your chickens away from your geraniums!
Can Chickens Eat Geraniums?
I’ve sat back and watched my chickens do their daily foraging trip around my backyard farm time after time. Slowly but surely they’ve explored every inch of it and they often change their preferences to where they like to actually forage from.
Most recently they’ve taken a liking to my geraniums, and I’ve seen them on multiple occasions pecking directly at the flowers and actually eating them. Although I’m not surprised as chickens try to eat almost anything, it did raise the question: can chickens actually eat geraniums?
Well, it’s good to know geranium flowers are completely safe for your chickens to eat in normal amounts, and actually have powerful antioxidants and minerals in them which are considered healthy for your chickens. Although there are over 200 types of geraniums, they are considered non-toxic and are said to have a host of health benefits.
So it’s perfectly fine for your chickens to eat geraniums, so long as they are also getting their normal, regular, balanced diet. Whether your chickens are simply pecking at them in the yard, or you wish to cut a few of these edible flowers up and add them to your rotation of healthy table snacks for your chickens
What Other Types Of Flowers Can Chickens Eat?
Aside from geraniums, chickens will also try their luck with most other plants in your backyard. So, if you do keep chickens, here are several other flowers that are perfectly safe for your chickens.
- Cruciferous vegetable flowers like the flowers of broccoli, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower are safe for your chickens, as well as all the other parts of the plant!
- Bee Balm flowers and leaves are safe for your chickens.
- Pumpkin flowers are safe for chickens and also for human consumption. If you’re serving these flowers as part of your scrap food mix, make sure that they’re free of seasonings and spices. Also, avoid adding the green stems to your chickens’ feed because they contain a toxin called Cucurbitacin.
- Nasturtium flowers are edible by humans and chickens, and they won’t harm your flock.
- Violets can be used as a garnish for your cakes and salads, and your chickens will also love them too
- Dandelions are rich in calcium and vitamin A. It’s said that when your hens eat them, they’ll brighten the egg yolk to a nice yellow.
- Echinacea flowers are helpful for respiratory problems and will also help your chicken’s other health issues.
- Roses are safe for chickens, but you should beware of the amount consumed so they don’t change the composition of the yolk too much.
- Marigolds will help keep the bugs away from your plants, and when chickens eat them, they will turn the egg yolk bright yellow!
- Most wildflowers are safe for chickens to eat, but chickens won’t often eat them by their own will.
Which Flowers Are Inedible For Chickens?
Not all flowers are safe for your chickens. Foxgloves, daffodils, azalea flowers, jasmines, tulips, and honeysuckles look amazing in your backyard, but you should keep them away from your chickens as much as possible. Be sure your chickens steer clear away from nightshades plants, the fruits are fine like eggplant, but the greens and stems are toxic.
In normal, small doses, most of these flowers will be completely harmless, but they are known to be toxic or have unhealthy qualities to them for your chickens.
If you do have any of these in your backyard, take note of whether your chickens are interested in them. If you see them pecking at these flowers you may wish to fence them off or get some netting just to be safe!
How To Keep Your Chickens Away From Your Geraniums?
If you’re worried your chickens are ruining your gorgeous display of geraniums, then there are many, easy and simple ways to chicken-proof your garden.
If you really want to keep them out you can construct a chicken fence around your garden you want to keep separate from your chickens. You can also look at getting chicken wire as a more temporary and easy solution.
If you just want to persuade your chickens to leave that part of the yard alone, then you can try a few different mixes of natural, nontoxic, chicken repellants. These are things such as planting peppermint or rosemary as a barrier. A simple solution can even be setting up a small scarecrow or owl/hawk-looking bird, but you also don’t want your chickens to get scared either!
Also, avoid feeding your chickens anywhere close to your geraniums or other plants you want chickens to stay away from. You could also try limiting their free-range space and time if it’s really getting that serious!
Fortunately for your chickens, they can safely eat geraniums. Unfortunately for your garden, chickens can and will eat your geraniums!
But, in normal circumstances, chickens will only peck at the flowers scarcely, and shouldn’t actually impact the garden display. Chickens are smart enough to only eat what benefits them in your garden, and won’t overindulge on any one plant, but will more so simply peck at several around the backyard.
If you really want to keep your chickens away, you can set up temporary chicken fencing, wire, or try to plant some natural deterrents.
Happy backyard living everybody!