Milkweed harmful to birds and children?
Somewhere on your site you mention most animals not liking the taste of milkweed (the toxins) - but that cardinals love it. Due to a neighbor's bird feeder and plenty of evergreens, we see loads of cardinals.
Is it OK for them to eat? And as for young children around -- same Q - though I don't see them wanting to eat it - just good to know.
First of all about the birds. I think normally the bird would get sick ("upset stomach"), but the cardinals around me seem to love eating the monarch caterpillars. Maybe they develop an immunity or it isn't that strong of a toxic to them.
As far as the children go, the research I did said that both for adults and children - the milkweed sap (milk) can be an irritant. It can irritate the skin (I haven't had a problem with this), but more importantly do not rub or touch your eyes after you have been handling milkweed (especially milkweed sap). It can be harmful to the eyes. If you accidentally get some in your eyes, rinse thoroughly right away.
So just make sure the kids wash their hands right after touching the milkweed.
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