Can Chickens Eat Apples? – Apple Pie for Everyone

Written by Farm Animals

Why feed your chickens apples? Better yet, why not? Don’t go running out to the store to buy apples for your chickens just yet. There are a number of parts of an apple that your chickens just should not eat as it can be deadly. However, there are ways you can grow apples so they won’t be dangerous to your chickens, and there are ways you can prepare them to get rid of the toxic bits. Continue reading to find out what parts these are and how to get around it.

If you’re wondering about what you can and cannot feed your chickens, you might be wondering about apples. If you live in an area where the apples are plentiful, then you’re probably asking, can chickens eat apples? It would be great if you could feed your chickens apples, if they were in abundance, plus they’re cheap.

The best situation would be if you actually have an apple tree where you can feed your chickens with almost no cost. If you have them, why not feed them to your chickens. Also, you may feed them apples if they like them. Some chickens do actually have personal tastes. Who knows if its the texture of flavor. But if you’ve got them, and they like them, why not feed your chickens with them?

Can chickens eat apples? Why stay away from apples

 Feeding your chickens apples isn’t flawless.  There are still some drawbacks. First of all, there is a heavy amount of preparation in feeding apples to your chickens.  You can’t just give them a hard apple. You would at least have to cube the apple so that the chickens can bite the soft part of the apple, the exposed inner white part.

Apples are big fruits. Chickens, like humans, can easily forget how to control their appetites. If you give them all that food, they’ll likely eat it. This will interfere with your chicken’s ability to lay good eggs and may lead to health problems. So, instead, cut up your apples into snack sized portions before feeding them to your chickens.

When preparing your apples for chicken consumption, also consider the seeds. They have small amounts of cyanide in them. If they eat enough of them, they’ll die. This can be really annoying and discouraging.  Similarly, the apple cores aren’t good for chicken consumption  because (1) they have the seeds and (2) they are typically hard. You don’t want to eat the core. Neither do your chickens.

Chickens love apple pie

Apple pie is tasty, and your chickens will love it,  but their bodies won’t like it.  Apple pie is a junk food. It’s high in sugars and not on your or their food pyramid. What would happen if you ate apple pie all the time? Nothing good. Same thing will happen to your chickens.

Apple skins for dinner

Can chickens have apples with their skins on?  They’ll eat the apples with the apple skins if they can break it apart in their bites of the apple, but if you give them a plate full of apple skins, they won’t eat them.

To Eat or not to eat apple leaves

How about the apple tree leaves?  Those are really bad for chickens.  Don’t feed them to your birds! They too have a chemical in them that turns to cyanide upon consumption. Some people say that the chickens don’t chew the leaves up so they cannot release the chemicals, but what they put through their mouths are digested all the same.

Also, keep in mind that chickens are smarter than they look. If you see that your chickens are eating every other plant but that one plant, most likely it’s not good for them and they know it.

Apple Treats for Your Chicken

With all of that said, you can make nice apple treats for your chickens because they do have vitamins, minerals, pectin and amino acids that your chickens would benefit from. For example, you can make stuffed apples with peanut butter, unsalted almonds, and cranberries or raisins. Simply core the apples to get rid of those bad apple seeds then stuff it with your peanut butter and nut mix.

If not, try apple garlands. This unique idea by Fresh Eggs Daily suggests to use butcher’s twine, diced apples, zucchini, and popcorn which you lace into garlands. Then you hang them in your chicken run on the wire fencing. Not only is it entertaining, but your chickens will be kept busy and really enjoy the garland.

Apples provide real nutritional benefit to your chickens. You should have an understanding now on what not to feed your chickens from an apple, and maybe you’ll think twice before raising your chickens in the pen with the apple tree. If you have apples lying around on the ground from your tree, feel free to give them to your chickens, but again, be prepared to do some apple preparation before feeding them.

Shelley Howard

Shelley Howard

Shelley Howard has been writing professionally since 2010. She writes about homesteading, health and travel for various online publications.
Shelley Howard

Last modified: November 9, 2017

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