Are Hens And Chicks Poisonous? (Cats, Dogs, And Rabbit)

Many plants grow in the environment, some of which are poisonous, but people still grow these toxic plants. Today, in this article, we will learn whether hens and chicks are poisonous or not.

As per the guidelines of ASPCA, Hens and chicks are safe for dogs, cats, and horses as it doesn’t contain any toxic compound that can harm them. However, ingestion of this plant can lead to mild irritation, diarrhea, and similar allergic symptoms in pets and humans. But it is not fatal for anyone.

Today I will discuss the toxicity of Hens and chicks. If you have recently grown Hens and chicks and are worried about their toxicity, go through this article till the end to understand whether this plant is safe or poisonous.

Hens and chicks 3

Is Hens and chicks poisonous or safe?

Hens and chicks are easy to grow succulents and safe around pets and human beings. It doesn’t mean that there won’t be any reaction when ingested or handled.

But it will last for a short period without hurting anyone seriously.

The reputed American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has declared that Hens and chicks are not toxic or poisonous to animals or humans. Hens and chicks are scientifically claimed safe for all.

They don’t contain any toxic compounds, but they do contain alkaloids. So, if ingested, the highest result in pets can be vomiting.

While handling them, if their sap comes in contact with skin, it can cause skin irritation like red itchy rashes. These last for a short time but are not deadly.

You don’t need to panic or consult a doctor immediately. After some time, these symptoms should vanish without leaving behind any severe issues.

Hens and chicks are good in many ways. Some people include these plants in their raw food diets. These are used for making medicines and antioxidants.

If you ever think of having these in your diet, you should use them in small quantities or consult an expert before consuming them.

Is Hens and chicks poisonous to dogs?

Dog vet

It is one of the common questions asked by many dog owners. Dogs are sensible animals. They will never try harming themselves by feeding on any toxic plant. They sniff everything before eating to be on the safe side.

Even if they ingest the plant leaves, nothing will happen other than a bit of vomiting. It won’t kill them or deteriorate their health. But, don’t worry as the dogs will stay away.

However, their puppies are not that experienced. Out of curiosity, they might ingest them. That might also result in vomiting. Don’t panic in such conditions.

If you are too worried about their health, you can take them to the veterinarian. They will treat them best.

Is Hens and chicks poisonous to cats?

It is another common question. The answer to this question is the same as the dogs. It is doubtful that the cats will try ingesting Hens and chicks. So you can worry less about them. Cats don’t seem to have a lot of interest in them.

These plants are declared safe by the reputed ASPCA, as I mentioned earlier. So even if your cat consumes it by mistake, they are neither fatal nor will they decline the pets’ health.

Is Hens and chicks poisonous to other animals (Horses, squirrels, or guinea pigs)?

Horses do not get poisoned by eating Hens and chicks. Neither do squirrels or guinea pigs.

Generally, guinea pigs and squirrels will not be interested in Hens and chicks.

When they loiter in your garden, carefully watch so that these animals don’t feed on any random plant in your garden, which can affect their health.

Looking for gardening supplies? We have tested 100's of products before recommending them to you guys. Check out our best pick below:

Is Hens and chicks poisonous to rabbits?

Just as they are not toxic to dogs and cats, they are also non-toxic to rabbits. Some people pet rabbits, so they feel concerned about them.

Because rabbit is considered a pest, they would love to munch your Hens and chicks. So, you don’t have to protect them from Hens and Chicks.

Instead, your succulents will need protection from them. Create a fence around your garden to keep rabbits away. It will also stop the other pets from reaching the garden bed.

Rabbit garden

Is Hens and chicks toxic to humans?

Now let’s talk about those who will deal with Hens and chicks, we humans. In some cases, Hens and Chicks are considered edible. As I mentioned earlier, people include them in their diets too.

They don’t contain any harmful ingredients and have a typical sour taste.

Hens and chicks were used as medicine in ancient times. The plant was used to make antioxidants and medicine for treating skin irritations. The water stored in their leaves helps to treat skin problems.

It is an alternative for Aloe Vera, another succulent with medicinal properties but toxic if ingested raw.

Children and toddlers get very nosy when they see something unique. If they bite the leaf, they will have a sour taste. But when the skin comes in contact with saps, it will irritate the skin for some minutes.

What happens if your pet gets poisoned?

Let’s consider a situation where your pet mistakenly ingested Hens and chicks in large quantities, and you notice a deterioration in their health. 

If this happens, take the pets to the vet clinic immediately. They can provide them with good help. It will be healthy after treatment.

In most cases, they may have faced gastric lavage or other things. But it will end well. Because these plants are not toxic, there is no chance of any fatality.

What are the symptoms of Hens and chicks poisoning?

Signs of poisoning by Hens and chicks are not known because they don’t hurt anyone seriously, be it animals or humans. Only one problem that occurs is skin rashes when the sap of this plant touches our skin.

It might cause:

  • Itching 
  • Redness 
  • Little burning sensation
  • For your pets, it is vomiting.

But these symptoms should disappear after a few minutes. Both you and your pets will be fine.

For preventing such conditions, take precautions for yourself and your pets and children. Read further to know how to protect.

Why do people consider Hens and chicks to be poisonous?

Many people are still confused about Hens and chicks being toxic. If you are the one, by now, it must be clear that they are non-toxic.

Most individuals believe them to be poisonous because they are unique and rare to find. It is some people’s instinct to be careful about everything, due to which they think these plants to be toxic.

Another reason is that they belong to a succulent group. Many succulents are poisonous. Moreover, having low toxicity levels, these plants cause skin rashes for some time. Those who don’t know about it will panic and consider these plants poisonous.

Mostly, the fear of Hens and Chicks being poisonous comes from the look of the plant.

They contain thick leaves accumulating water and nutrients. People who have no idea about it can presume that these leaves carry harmful compounds. But that’s untrue.

Another reason they are considered toxic is their likeness with other succulents and the family they belong to. Hens and chicks belong to the Crassulaceae family.

This family has many succulents that are known for their toxicity level. For example, Cotyledon and Tylecodon are some succulents that cause serious cardiac problems.

Some succulents famous for being toxic are:

  • Aloe Vera (though its gel has medicinal property)
  • Mother of Millions (Kalanchoes)
  • Jade plants – Crassula Ovata 
  • Pencil Cactus (Euphorbias)
  • Cotyledon
  • Tylecodon

Some poisonous plants:

  • Rhubarb
  • Foxgloves

Succulents that are non-toxic:

  • Hens and Chicks
  • Blue Echeveria
  • Mexican rosettes
  • Graptopetalum Paraguayense 
  • Burro tail
  • Tree cactus
  • Wax rosette
  • Haworthia

In what circumstances can Hens and chicks become poisonous?

Hens and chicks outdoors

There is one situation where Hens and Chicks can be problematic for humans.

During the spring, these plants start growing actively. It is time to defend them from various pests and diseases.

Gardeners might spray insecticides and fungicides to prevent infestations. At this point, the plant can become poisonous to all living organisms.

The level of danger depends on the quantity of these harmful chemicals entering the stomach. It results in vomiting, stomach ache, and indigestion in most cases. Severe problems are unexpected to emerge.

If you don’t want to experience such conditions for yourself or your pets, you should take precautions. Create a fence around the garden to stop the pets and children go near these plants.

For protecting yourself while handling these plants, read the following topic carefully.

Protect yourself while dealing with Hens and chicks

Before doing the spraying things, take safeguards to avoid stressing about it later.

  • Wear gloves and long-sleeve clothes. Don’t wear any loose-fitting dress. It will stop them from coming in touch with the skin.
  • After you have finished dealing with them, avoid touching or eating them for a few weeks.
  • If any exposed parts of your skin encounter the plant or chemicals, wash it thoroughly with liquid hand wash or soap.
  • Do not burn any unfamiliar plants or other vegetation. Burning releases harmful gases into the air that can be further dangerous when breathed.

To prevent pets and other animals:

You can try planting animal deterrent plants like Sage, Mint, or Rosemary. Try spraying some animal deterrent products around your garden bed. 

The smell from these products around the plants will stop the animals from reaching your Hens and chicks.

By following these above precautions, you can easily protect yourself, your children, and your pets from exposure to any toxicity.

Final thoughts

Even if Hens and chicks are not poisonous or toxic for any living organisms, you must be careful before ingesting them. Eating them in large quantities can provoke indigestion problems.

Hens and chicks are not poisonous to any living beings. It is scientifically proven and declared non-toxic by the renowned ASPCA. So, when you or your pets consume them, there will be no deadly results.

However, their saps cause minor irritation that vanishes after a few minutes.

The plant will only get poisoned when sprayed with insecticides or fungicides. Be careful not to touch or eat them for a few weeks after using these chemical products.

You can take precautions if you are still concerned about the plant’s toxicity. Creating a fence, planting some deterrent plants, or spraying repellent products can keep children and pets away.

Also read:

Hens and chicks toxicity – FAQ

Is Hens and chicks poisonous to birds?

No. The plants are not poisonous to birds. Birds will visit your garden, poke the plants to feed and go back and again come the next day. So, possibly, you won’t find any distress in them ever.

Is Hens and chicks edible?

One cannot confirm whether they are edible in large amounts daily or not. It is better to consult an experienced individual before devouring them. However, some people recommend having them on their raw diet list. 

Nothing will happen if you take one bite from a leaf. Still, it is better to consult before eating because naturally, they are not a kind of vegetable to eat or cook.

Will Hens and chicks become toxic if grown close to other poisonous plants?

No. Hens and Chicks will be on their own. There is very little, mostly zero chance, for Hens and Chicks to get toxic if grown beside other poisonous plants. Still, if you are worried, create physical barriers around them. 

Source: Ornamentals toxic plantsPet poison online, Toxic plants, and companion animals.


Hello everyone, My name is Richa and I am here to make you a better gardener by creating an in-depth and helpful resource for all the fellow gardeners out there. If I could help even a few people understand their plants better then I call it a success for my efforts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts