Chicken Friendly Plants

Chickens will of course scratch around and eat many plants in the garden, including tender vegetable and fruit crops that you have to fence off. If you’re looking to put some plants in your garden that the chickens won’t touch, have a look at this list:

These plants are what we’ve found (from experience) that chickens do not touch. If you have any others to add to it, please leave a comment below to share your findings!


Every plant that grows up above chicken head height seems to work, especially if under planted by lavenders or similar. Give climbers protection at first but once established, they are fine. Chickens do scratch around and disturb the soil, but they also keep the insects down and manure as they go! Pyrethrum daisies work well, but tend to spread everywhere. Pyrethrum and Wormwood are great to grow around the yard, as they also repel insects.

Some of this list can be debatable – whilst some chickens won’t bother with a plant on the list, others may devour it! Sometimes a little trial and error is called for.

Chicken Friendly Plants List

    • Rose of Sharon
    • Oleanders
    • Camellias
    • Azaleas
    • Most shrubs and bushes
    • Hardy Geraniums
    • Hardy Fuschias
    • Alchemilla Molis
    • Foxgloves
    • Pelargoniums
    • Oriental Grasses & Bamboos once established.
    • Clematis
    • Impatiens
    • Honeysuckle (once established)
    • Jasmine
    • Perennial Sweetpeas
    • Wormwood
    • Petunias (mixed reports, some say they will eat them)
    • Ophiopogan planiscapus ‘ Nigrescens’ (Black lilyturf)
    • Purple Fringed Loosestrife (Lysimachia ciliata) ‘Purpurea’
    • Lupins


    Some I’ve heard may eat:

    • Pyrethrum Daisies
    • Lillies
    • Primroses

    • Garlic, Onions and Leeks
    • Potatoes
    • Squashes
    • Legumes
    • Chives, Mint, Rosemary, Tarragon and Sage
    • Rhubarb (they will occasionally eat the young leaves but don’t seem to get ill)
    • Climbing beans once established
    • Currant Bushes (established and without fruit)
    • Asparagus (once in leaf)
    • Lavender


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Tim Daniels

Tim is the founder of the poultrykeeper website and lives in Bedfordshire, UK. He keeps Light Sussex large fowl, Silkie bantams and hybrid layers for eggs, Abacot Ranger ducks, Brecon Buff geese and some quail.

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  • Michaela Jones

    mine ate my jasmine plant right up! It’s just vines now. No leaves.

  • Karin Kress

    wow!… most of what you include on this list is listed as TOXIC on all other sites!…e.g. … Oleander, azalea, foxglove, jasmine, clematis… Why doesn’t everyone agrre on this toxicity issue???

  • Oh dear. If there’s a shortage of other greens, or they are enclosed with the bush, I think there’s a much higher chance of them eating it. Ours wander around the garden and don’t bother with Rosemary.

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