Apples are one of the most popular fruits in the world, and for good reason. They are sweet, crunchy and nutritious. But can chickens eat apples? And if so, how should you feed them to your flock?
The answer is yes, chickens can eat apples. My chickens absolutely love eating apple and get very excited when I throw pieces of apple to them.
Apples are a great treat for your chickens, as they provide many health benefits and add variety to their diet. However, there are some things you need to know before you toss an apple to your chickens. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about feeding apples to your chickens.
What this article covers
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Benefits of Apples for Chickens
Apples are not only delicious, but also nutritious. They contain many vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber that can benefit your chickens in various ways. Some of the benefits of apples for chickens are:
Digestion: Apples are high in fiber, which can help your chickens feel full and prevent overeating. Fiber also aids in digestion and prevents constipation. Apples also contain pectin, a soluble fiber that can act as a prebiotic and feed the beneficial bacteria in your chickens’ gut.
Immunity: Apples are rich in vitamin C, which is essential for boosting your chickens’ immune system and fighting off infections. Vitamin C also helps your chickens cope with stress and environmental challenges. Apples also contain antioxidants, such as flavonoids and polyphenols, that can protect your chickens from oxidative damage and inflammation.
Bone health: Apples contain calcium, which is important for maintaining strong bones and eggshells in your chickens. Calcium also helps regulate muscle contractions and nerve impulses in your chickens. Apples also contain phosphorus, which works with calcium to support bone health.
Eye health: Apples contain vitamin A, which is vital for maintaining good vision and eye health in your chickens. Vitamin A also supports skin health and wound healing in your chickens. Apples also contain beta-carotene, a precursor of vitamin A that can enhance the color of your chickens’ feathers and egg yolks.
All in all, apples are a healthy addition and are worth giving to your chickens as part of a healthy and well rounded diet. Just ensure you are also giving them a variety of other nutritional foods and high quality feed as well, such as this one we love for our own girls.
Risks of Apples for Chickens
While apples are generally safe and healthy for your chickens, there are some potential risks that you need to be aware of. Some of the risks of apples for chickens are:
– Seeds: Apple seeds contain a small amount of cyanide, a toxic substance that can interfere with your chickens’ oxygen uptake and cause respiratory distress or death. While your chickens would need to eat a lot of seeds to experience cyanide poisoning, it is better to be safe than sorry and remove the seeds before feeding apples to your chickens.
– Cores: Apple cores are hard and tough, which can make them difficult for your chickens to eat and digest. They can also pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage in your chickens. Therefore, it is best to avoid feeding apple cores to your chickens or cut them into small pieces if you do.
– Sugar: Apples are high in natural sugar, which can cause problems for your chickens if fed in excess. Too much sugar can upset your chickens’ digestive balance and cause diarrhea or fermentation in their crop. Sugar can also contribute to obesity and diabetes in your chickens, which can affect their overall health and egg production.
– Pesticides: Apples are often sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals to protect them from pests and diseases. These chemicals can be harmful for your chickens if ingested or absorbed through their skin. Feed organic apples where possible.
Therefore, it is advisable to wash the apples thoroughly before feeding them to your chickens or choose organic apples if possible.
How Much and How Often to Feed Apples to Chickens?
Apples are a healthy and tasty treat for your chickens, but you should not feed them too much or too often. Apples are high in sugar, which can cause digestive issues, obesity, and diabetes in your chickens if fed in excess. Apples also lack protein, which is essential for your chickens’ growth and egg production.
A good rule of thumb is to limit the apple intake to 10% of your chickens’ diet. This means that you should feed your chickens one small apple per day or less. If you have a large flock of chickens, you may need to reduce this amount to avoid overfeeding. You should also provide fresh water and grit for your chickens when feeding them apples.
You can feed your chickens apples daily or a few times per week, depending on your preference and availability. However, you should not feed them only apples or the same fruit every day. You should vary their treats with other fruits, vegetables, grains, and commercial feed to ensure a balanced and varied diet for your flock.
Apples are a great way to treat your chickens and keep them healthy and happy. By following these guidelines, you can feed apples to your chickens safely and easily. Enjoy watching your chickens enjoy their apple treats!
How to Prepare Apple for Chickens
Here is how to prepare apples for chickens:
Apples are a healthy and tasty treat for your chickens, but you need to prepare them properly before feeding them to your flock. Here are some steps you can follow to prepare apples for chickens:
- Wash the apples well under running water and scrub them with a brush or cloth to remove any dirt or residue.
- Cut the apples into small pieces or slices that are easy for your chickens to peck at and swallow. You can use a knife or an apple corer/slicer tool for this purpose.
- Remove the seeds from the apple pieces or slices and discard them. You can use a spoon or a knife to scoop out the seeds or cut around them. Apple seeds contain cyanide, which can be harmful for your chickens if ingested in large amounts.
- Optionally, you can peel the apples if you prefer. Some chickens may not like the apple skin, while others may enjoy it. The apple skin contains antioxidants and fiber, which are beneficial for your chickens’ health.
- You can also puree the apples if you have chicks or older chickens that have trouble eating solid food. You can blend the apples in a food processor or blender until they reach a smooth consistency. You can also add some water to the puree to thin it out if needed.
- You can feed the apples to your chickens as they are, or you can mix them with other fruits, vegetables, grains, or chicken feed to make a more balanced and varied diet for your flock.
- You can also dry the apples in an oven or a dehydrator to make apple chips for your chickens. This will preserve the apples for longer and make them crunchy and chewy. You can store the apple chips in an airtight container and feed them to your chickens as a snack.
- You should feed your chickens apples in moderation, as they are high in sugar and can cause digestive issues if fed in excess. A good rule of thumb is to limit the apple intake to 10% of your chickens’ diet. You should also provide fresh water and grit for your chickens when feeding them apples.
Apples are a great way to treat your chickens and keep them healthy and happy. By following these steps, you can prepare apples for your chickens safely and easily. Enjoy watching your chickens enjoy their apple treats!
Chopping apple before feeding it to your chickens will help your chickens use less energy to eat their food. Chop up the whole apple for your chickens into chicken bite sized pieces. We love this kitchen tool at our place and use it for chopping our fruits and vegetables into small chicken friendly pieces within seconds.
So, Can Chickens Eat Apples?
Yes! Go ahead and given your chickens the delicious and nutritious benefits of apple.
Just remember that the vast majority of their diet should come from a high quality commercial feed with other fruits and vegetables given as well.
Chicken Care Shopping List
Are you looking for a shopping list of everything you need when caring for your precious flock? We have put together an easy reference of items for your convenience.
- Chicken coop
- Wood shavings bale
- Nesting Box
- Layer pellets
- Chicken scratch/grain
- Shell grit
- Chicken Safe Disinfectant
- Coop cleaner
- Chicken dust
- Calcium supplement
Wanting to know if chickens can eat oranges? Read on here!
Apple Nutrition – https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/benefits-apples