Rhubarb and Poultry Don't Mix!
This is a word of warning to anyone who keeps poultry: do not let your birds eat rhubarb leaves! Unfortunately we have learnt the hard way.... rhubarb leaves, it appears, are delicious to chickens. However, they are actually fatally poisonous and will result in death!
Many years ago, when we were starting out our chicken journey, we discovered this - having "kindly" given our hens the leafy tops from the rhubarb we cooked. Ever since we have made a conscious effort to keep our chickens away from where the rhubarb grows.
Last week we got complacent. The warm weather & long days at home have meant the chickens have been free ranging in the garden more than usual and before we knew it....... "there's a chicken in the rhubarb!" We shooed her away but sadly it was too late and we lost her a few days later.
A compost bin was a temporary solution, plonked on top to surround the plant. Not ideal long term though, as we use both our compost bins all year round. We plan to make a hessian surround for our rhubarb patch - this should let the sun & rain in, and keep the chickens out!