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Planting Chicken-Friendly Edible Annual Flowers

Chickens generally know what's good for them to eat and what's not, but I like to choose edible flowers when it comes to my garden.

There are lots of plants that can be toxic to both humans and animals. 

Chickens generally know what's bad for them and will steer clear, so while we have azaleas, lupine and other perennial plants that could be a problem if they ate them, I don't worry all that much, since our flock has so much else to eat when they're out roaming the yard. 

However, when it comes to purposely choosing annual flowers to plant each spring, I do gravitate towards those that are edible. I believe it's best to err on the side of caution.

Our chickens do wander in the flower beds, but mostly seem to be interested in scratching in the dirt and looking for bugs and worms, so the flowers for the most part are spared. 

By the end of the season, since they're annuals anyway, I'm okay with the chickens eating them if they want to. 

Planting Chicken-Friendly Edible Annual Flowers

So what did I choose to plant this spring? African marigolds, purple salvia and Proven Winners Royal Velvet petunias. All perfectly edible for people and chickens. The marigolds planted around the edge of the garden help to keep bugs out, salvia are a favorite of bees and petunias bloom and bloom all summer long.  

We also bought some potted wax begonias for the back porch. Again, perfectly edible for people and animals. (And you can trust the Proven Winners name because their plants are grown by family-owned farms without the use of neonicotinoids which can be harmful to bees and other pollinators.) 

I also planted some Calibrachoa. Although it looks remarkably like petunias, Calibrachoa is in the Solanaceae, or nightshade, family. White potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers also fall into this family and can be toxic to chickens

So the Calibrachoa went into window boxes high off the ground in an area the chickens don't generally wander.

Below I have included a few lists of more edible flower varieties for you to reference before you go shop for your spring annuals, and remember the flowers of all the culinary herbs are edible including lavender, pineapple sage, thyme, basil, etc. and all wonderful to plant in areas in which your chickens roam.

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