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Author Topic: Ragwort poisoning?  (Read 422 times)


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Ragwort poisoning?
« on: March 16, 2021, 10:03:31 am »
We have 11 month old hens in a large enclosure. Vegetation is now growing fast but in the last week or so we've had a problem with eggs dropped off the perch at night. Strange thing with these eggs though is they have no shell or membrane and no discernable yolk, just a mixture of yolk and white. And yet all of these hens are laying perfect eggs most of the time. It isn't any particular hen either, as they all have their favourite roosting spot and these eggy drops are appearing anywhere.

What I have noticed though is that they have eaten all the grass shoots in the enclosure- they have 30 m2 each, so it's not small. What's coming up vigorously now is ragwort and I'm wondering if they are eating that and poisoning their system to the extent that the membrane and shell creation mechanisms are temporarily paralysed? Has anyone any experience of this? Is ragwort poisonous to poultry?

Next job will be to dig it all out as a precaution.


  • Joined Feb 2021
Re: Ragwort poisoning?
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2021, 09:35:24 pm »
I know ragwort can cause liver damage to chickens and pretty sure it is poisonous to them over time but I'm afraid I don't know how or if that actually affects the eggs. I'm sure someone more knowledgeable than me will know more.


  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Ragwort poisoning?
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2021, 02:15:13 pm »
Sounds like internal parasites to me. Give them some wormer and that should sort the problem out.
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.


  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Ragwort poisoning?
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2021, 07:43:31 am »
They were wormed a few weeks ago Macgro7, so that isn't the problem, but I agree that would be a possibility otherwise and that's the first thing to do.

I took 50 or so ragwort out of the enclosure and one had certainly been eaten- the top shoots were nipped off. Since then the problem hasn't repeated, but it's early days yet and there may be another weed in there that's causing the problem?



Started by melholly (7.28)

Replies: 3
Views: 1880
Last post August 14, 2011, 07:57:11 pm
by Hopewell

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