The Big List of Chicken-Safe Plants
There are plenty of lists of toxic and unsafe plants for chickens, but it is very hard to find plant options that can be used in your chicken area. I have compiled a list of plants that are deemed chicken-safe.
The following plants are appropriate and worry-free for the areas chickens roam. The list tells you the zone said plant grows in as well as if the plant is an annual or perennial. Some annuals can be over-wintered as perennials in warmer climates. Plants marked with an asterisk (*) have medicinal properties for chickens.
Chicken-Safe Floral Plants
If you find yourself wanting to landscape around your chicken’s enclosure, these plants will add seasonal color and are perfectly safe.
Bee Balm 3-9 Perennial
Black Eyed Susan 3-11 Perennial
Coreopsis 3-9 Perennial
Daisy 5-8 Perennial
Day Lilly 4-8 Perennial
Echinacea (Coneflower) 3-9 Perennial
Orchid 6-8 Perennial
Thistle 3-10 Perennial
Velvet Nettle 3-10 Perennial
Chicken-Safe Foliage Plants
Do you need year-round foliage to hide the less-than-aesthetically-pleasing areas around your chicken yard? These plants will do the trick.
Hens & Chicks 4-8 Perennial
Hosta 3-7 Perennial
Yucca 4-11 Perennial
Many herbs benefit from a trimming. They tend to perform better and get bushier with regular pruning. Why not let your chickens prune for you?
*Catnip 3-9 Perennial
*Lavender 5-10 Perennial
*Lemon Balm 4-11 Perennial
*Mint 3-10 Perennial
Oregano 5-11 Perennial
*Rosemary 6-10 Perennial
Vines are wonderful for growing up the side of a chicken enclosure. They offer shade in the summer and die back to allow for light in the winter. We have grapes and hops along the sunny side of our run.
Black Eye Susan 10-11 Perennial
Bougainvillea 9-11 Perennial
Grape Ivy Annual
*Rose 3-11 Perennial
Swedish Ivy Annual
Virginia Creeper 3-9 Perennial
You may be worried about shrubs on your property when you begin to free-range your chickens. Although shrubs like azalea and rhododendron can pose a risk, these plants are perfectly safe.
Bamboo 5-9 Be sure to plant the non-invasive variety!
Butterfly Bush 5-10
Hop Tree 4-9
No need to be concerned about the fruit, nuts, and leaves of these trees dropping. Your chickens will happily clean up the mess and it won’t hurt them at all.
Citrus (all) Keep in mind that too much citrus may cause weak egg shells because it affects calcium absorption.
Crab Apple 3-8
Hop Tree 4-9
Willow (Goat/Pussy/Weeping) 2-9 (depending on species)
Keep in mind, just because a plant is “safe” does not mean it will be safe from hungry chickens. Be sure to check out the big list of poisonous plants if you are worried about a plant already located on your homestead. If you have a suggestion of a plant to be listed, let me know in the comments below.