Flowers at risk?
QI am thinking about getting three or four hens in my garden. I have heard stories of chickens eating flowers and shrubs. Can you tell me what they are likely to eat – I don’t want to lose all my lovely flowers?
ACharlotte Popescu says: Hens will eat the sort of flowers that we, as humans, can also eat such as primroses, marigolds, violets, pansies and nasturtiums including the seeds. The good news is that they won’t eat daffodils, tulips, roses, camellias or dahlias. Other flowers that they may well tuck into are busy lizzies, lobelia, sweet peas and hostas. They will eat leaves from young shrubs with light green leaves but certainly won’t touch evergreen shrubs or bigger bushes such as laurel, laburnum or lilac. My hens never touch the lavender, rosemary or sage bushes. On the whole hens leave strongly scented or aromatic leaves but will eat anything that tastes similar to grass – green stuff is really what they are after so they will eat some of your weeds such as hairy bittercress, chickweed and sometimes dock and dandelion leaves. Unfortunately mine don’t eat plantain or nettles! It would probably be wise to section off any precious flowerbeds or grow your flowers in hanging baskets!
A hen tucking into some sorrel