Can Chickens Eat Poison Ivy?

Can Chickens Eat Poison Ivy?

Poison Ivy is a plant that can cause an allergic reaction in humans. The plant can cause blisters, rashes, and in rare cases, hospitalization. 

However, can chickens eat Poison Ivy? Despite the plant’s name, poison doesn’t make chickens sick, and it is safe for chickens. Chickens can eat animal and plant food and are not allergic to Poison Ivy.

What is the Poison Ivy plant?

Poison Ivy is a common plant species found in various environments, such as fields, roads, and forests in the United States. 

The Poison Ivy plant has three leaves on each stem and produces berries that have yellow or white lines. The leaves have a long-stalks and pointed tips. 

Can Chickens Consume Poison Ivy?

We have already answered this question: Can chickens eat poison, Ivy? But we will now provide some context. Chickens have a different immune system than humans, and since their bodies can handle toxins, they have no issues eating the Poison Ivy plant.

While humans find Poison Ivy very irritating, chickens do not have the same reaction because they are proteins that trigger allergic reactions. 

The Poison Ivy berries are a main food source for most birds, and chickens are no exception. Usually, Poison Ivy grows under trees, and chickens love swallowing the plant. 

What About Poison Ivy Leaves? Are they Safe for Chickens?

poison ivy

Even leaves of the Poison Ivy plants are safe for chickens. The leaves are very nutritious; they have a low fat and high protein content. The leaves also consist of potassium, phosphorus, and calcium, and all of these minerals are beneficial for chickens.

That said, it is better not to hug or play with chickens after they have recently eaten Poison Ivy leaves.

Are the Poison Ivy berries Safe for Chickens?

Just like the Poison Ivy leaves, the berries are also safe for chickens. Chickens love eating these berries, packed with several key nutrients. Unlike other berries, the Poison Ivy berries do not have toxic components. 

Can Poison Ivy Harm Chickens?

While the Poison Ivy plant is not poisonous for chickens, the plant consists of Saponins, a compound. This compound can cause vomiting, drooling, and Diarrhea in chickens and other bird species.

While chickens can consume the toxic plant, it would be good if you regulate the amount of poison Ivy leaves or berries the birds eat. If there is Poison Ivy in your garden, you should discourage the chickens from spending too long there.

An overgrown Poison Ivy plant has a vast amount of Saponin. This can make the birds vulnerable to various illnesses, such as Diarrhea.

However, the chances of chickens getting Diarrhea from consuming Poison Ivy are low, so there is no need to panic.

How often Should Chickens Eat Poison Ivy?

There are no restrictions; you can allow the chickens to eat as much Poison Ivy as they want. However, you need to stay away from them when they are eating. While most chicken owners like to give their birds treats regularly, you must never give the Poison Ivy plant a treat. 

Though no evidence indicates that Poison Ivy is bad for chickens, the plant has a limited nutrient content. The rule of thumb is that the Poison Ivy is not a complete meal; your chickens should have a more varied and balanced diet. 

How can you Identify Poison Ivy?

poison ivy types

If you want to discourage your chickens from consuming Poison Ivy, you must be able to identify the plant. Unfortunately, it is tough to identify the Poison Ivy plant since its appearance and color change according to the season.

Poison Ivy is also similar to other plants, and there is a good chance you might mistake another plant for Poison Ivy. 

However, you must remember that the three leaves on the Poison Ivy plant have sharp tips, the plant’s edges are either smooth or coarsely toothed, and the Poison Ivy plant’s surface is either glossy or dull.

This plant has small-sized berries with an opaque white or yellow appearance. The berries look Pumpkin-like, and you can easily mistake them for other berry species. Some plants that you can mistake them for are Virginia Creeper, Aromatic Sumac, and Boxelder.

The last thing you should remember is this plant goes like a vine, and many leaves grow in the vine. The leaves of this plant are red or green in the spring months. 

However, the Poison Ivy plant leaves are green in the summer months, and the leaves have flower buds in the spring months. 

The buds will appear off-white and will open slowly. In the winter months, the leaves of the Poison Ivy plant develop a deep red color.

How to kill the Poison Ivy plants?

kill poison ivy

If you do not want your chickens to eat Poison Ivy, you can eliminate the plant in many ways. Here are a few killing methods:

Physical Removal

However, before you use this method, please wear a pair of gloves. Cut the plants and place them in a plastic bag. Please ensure the plant is inside out before placing it in the plastic bag; once you have removed it, wash all the equipment and your hands thoroughly.

Chemical Control

You can also spray specific pesticides on the Poison Ivy plant, the most practical and invasive killing method.


You must first create a concentrated brine solution, a mixture of water and salt. Then spray the water on the Poison Ivy plant and dip the roots in the salt. This home base method will kill the Poison Ivy plant instantly.

Combination Technique

Cut the plant’s body into pieces and apply the pesticides on the remaining roots and stems. This is an efficient method and doesn’t require an excessive quantity of pesticides.


In this article, we discussed whether Chickens could eat Poison Ivy or not. Chickens love eating Poison Ivy, and while the plant is toxic for humans, it is safe to eat for chickens. 

In rare cases, Poison Ivy can make chickens sick, so we have listed a few methods you can use to eliminate the plant.

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