There are a wide variety of foods that chickens can eat. This helps their bodies stay healthy, strong and produce those tasty eggs for breakfast. So, can chickens eat apples?
Chickens are not mammals but they are omnivores. They can much on weeds, seeds, grubs, insects, lizards and even small rodents.
Fruit treats are one way to make their diets well-rounded. Feeding fruits like strawberries to chickens helps supplement their diets with some extra vitamins and minerals.
In this article, I am going to cover everything you need to know between chickens and apples. This will help you understand whether they are good for chickens or not.
Can chickens eat apples?
The answer is yes! Apples are good fruits to feed to your chickens. These fruits contain a host of vitamins, minerals and some powerful antioxidants which are very beneficial to their health.
If you have a bumper harvest, then worry not. Your chickens will help you take care of those extra apples that would have gone into waste.
How many apples can chickens eat?
Just because chickens can eat apples does not mean that you do away with their staple diet. If left to eat, chickens will eat to their fill and it is not advisable.
The general rule of thumb states that treats should not exceed 10% of the total chicken’s diet. The remaining 90% should comprise of their main course of pellets and crumbles.
Toss these fruits to your chickens once or twice in a week. This way, your girls will eat them as it is recommended.
They do not have all the nutrients that chickens require in their bodies. Feeding chickens on apples alone can lead to malnutrition.
Can chickens eat apple seeds?
The same applies to apples too. Although the fruit is good for chickens to eat, the seeds are very dangerous and can cause death or a serious ill health.
Apple seeds contain cyanide a toxic chemical when ingested. When this chemical gets in their bodies, death can occur between 30 and 50 minutes.
Open the core and remove the seeds before sharing the fruit with your chickens. I am sure you don’t want to feed them with toxic foods.
Can chickens eat apple peels?
Apple peels are good for chickens just like banana peels and do not mind sharing those leftovers after you have eaten the flesh. However ensure that they are clean to remove any chemical that may be there as a residue.
These peels are rich in fiber and antioxidants making them good for chickens to eat. Fiber is very important and it helps regulate blood sugar keeping your chickens free from obesity.
Fiber also helps prevent constipation making the bowels run smooth to be passed out from the below there.
Is apple flesh good for chickens to eat?
Yes! This is the most edible and highly prized part of the apple fruit. The flesh is sweet, tasty and it is very healthy for chickens to eat.
Apple flesh contains a host of nutrients which are very beneficial for your chicken’s health. However, feed it to your flock in moderation.
This fleshy part is sweet and laden with sugars which are not good for chickens. Too much sugar will make chickens obese.
Obese chickens have too much fat in their bodies which hinders proper heat regulation. It can also make the chicken liver to burst leading to death.
What are the health benefits of feeding apples to chickens?
As I said earlier, these fruits are packed with a host of nutrients which are very important in the health of your hens and roosters.
Study the table below and get to understand what nutrients apples will add to your chickens.
Vitamin C 4.6mg
Vitamin K 2.2ug
Vitamin C is very important to your chickens. Although these feathered friends can naturally produce in in their bodies, supplementing with treats is good. It will help deal with environmental stress
This mineral plays a key role in the digestion of food. It helps prevent constipation making sure that food runs smooth down the alimentary canal.
Fiber is also very essential in regulating blood sugar. This helps prevent cases of obesity and overweight in your chickens.
Apples are very succulent and have a lot of moisture in them. Feeding these treats to your chickens will help keep their bodies well hydrated on a hot summer day.
These fruits contain high amounts of energy calories in them. This will help make your chicks strong, healthy and immune all the time.
Can baby chicks eat apples?
Although baby chickens can eat apples, they do not require to be fed on treats until they are over six weeks of age.
Baby chicks require to be fed on a high protein diet at the rate of 22-24%. These little critters have more muscles, organs, feathers and bones to develop thus, need more protein.
Do not forget that apples contain some amount of sugar in them. This makes these fruits sweet and if chicks get used to sweet foods they may in turn refuse to eat their diet of chick starter feeds.
In addition to this, the digestive systems of chicks are yet to be fully developed. Feeding apples t chicks may result in some serious digestive problems.
How to feed apples to chickens
Since apples do not require any kind of cooking for chickens to eat, they can be fed to chickens directly in various ways like:
Chopping apples into pieces will help you open the core and remove the seeds which are toxic to chickens.
When they are chopped, it becomes easy for chickens to swallow without thee danger of choking.
This is a good way where apples are hanged inside the chicken coop. Chickens will peck at the fruit until nothing is left while still clean.
Hanging apples for chickens to eat is a good way to help break their boredom. When chickens are idle, they will result in bullying, fighting and feather picking.
However, do not forget to remove the seeds first before hanging these tasty fruits for your chickens to eat.
Chopping the apple fruits and storing them in the freezer is a good way to offer cold treats to your chickens to help them get cold on a hot summer day.
Feeding several treats to chickens together is a good way to help them get a variety of nutrients in one serving.
Do chickens like apples?
Yes! Chickens like apples and they will not hesitate to peck at them. However, these birds have tastes and preferences and it is common to find a hen that will not eat them at all.
Apples are good for chickens just like apple sauce is. Some farmers will even add small amounts of apple cider vinegar to chicken water as probiotic.
Although your chickens will eat apples well, do not feed too much of these fruits to them. They are just treats like dried mealworms are.
Remember that these fruits do not have all the nutrients chickens require for healthy growth and robust development.
Can chickens eat apples final thoughts
Apples are good fruits for chickens to eat just like blackberries are. These fruits should be fed to chickens once in a while and in moderation.
Avoid feeding apples that have been bought from the local store. These fruits may be laden with toxic farm chemicals which can lead to death when ingested.
When several treats are mixed together, chickens can get a variety of nutrients on one serving.