Can Chickens Eat Apples

Have you ever asked yourself if whether or not chickens can eat apples? Maybe it’s time you consider giving them apples as treats!

There are plenty of reasons that you might want to try out apples as the treat you’re going to feed your birds today.

  • First, this fruit is very common and you might even have some apple trees in your yard.
  • What’s more, apples are probably one of, if not, the most affordable fruit you can feed your chickens.
  • The other main reason to feed your chickens this delicious fruit is just the simple fact that these little creatures just happen to really enjoy them.
Chickens eating an apple

Most chickens do have their own personal tastes when it comes to fruits, but there is rarely a chicken which has not enjoyed apples immediately after the first peck. It may be the flavor or the crunchy texture the apple has, but for whatever reason, chickens just seemingly love apples.

BUT read this first….

As exciting as this new chicken treat option may turn out to be, feeding apples to your chickens aren’t free of any drawbacks.

First of all, it’s recommended that you cut your apples into cubes so that your chickens can peck away at at all of the goodness under peel!

Notice how these chickens below eat what they want and pass on the rest!

Chickens can easily forget how to control their appetites like humans do. They’ll likely eat up everything you’d place in front of them. This is something to watch out for if you feed them apples. At once, if an apple is overeaten, it will hamper your chicken’s ability to lay high-quality eggs, and if this becomes persistent, can lead to even serious health problems. To keep this from happening, always cut your apples into manageable, snack-sized meals to be fed throughout the day.

So… can chickens eat apples?

Yes but remember that apple seeds can be very poisonous, so you need to pay extra caution when feeding apples to them. Apple seeds have traces of cyanide in them.  It may only leave a bitter taste for humans but it can be fatal for chickens, so you should make sure to get rid of the seeds before you feed the apples to them.

The deseeding process can be taxing, but it is necessary if you want to keep your chickens alive.

Dried apples are best!

Now before you buy as many apples as you can, it is essential to know that there are some tips and tricks you might use to enhance your chicken’s first experience of eating apples.

To start, dried is best – same goes with any other fruit you would want to feed your chickens. It is recommended if you can find dried apples, for the lack of moisture in them makes them easier to digest and at the same time healthier for your chickens.

It is also important to make sure that no apples are moldy if you want to feed your birds from a personal apple tree to refrain them from getting sick. Think of your chicken as yourself – you wouldn’t want eating moldy or out of date food too, right?

Finally, you should keep in mind that it is healthier and better to feed your chickens something with less acidity and sugar.

A yummy apple treat for your chickens

With this said you can just simply core the apples and remove the seeds to make nice apple treats like stuffed apples with peanut butter, unsalted almonds, and cranberries or raisins for your chickens.

Your chickens will surely enjoy these treats while getting the nutrition they need, apples are not only tasty but are also rich in vitamins, minerals, pectin and amino acids.

Apple treats for chickens
Image via Grit.com

Another fun treat and activity for your chickens is to hang apples from a tree, fence, or inside the coop and let your ladies have a blast pecking away at the yummy apple treat!

Image via grit.com

What about the apple tree leaves?

Well, how about the apple tree leaves? It is recommended that you’d just feed them with the fruit and not with the leaves for these can be really bad for them. Just like the seeds, apple leaves have a chemical in them that upon consumption, turns to cyanide.

Some people would think it’s fine, saying that chickens don’t chew the leaves up so they cannot release the chemicals, but what they have in their mouths are digested just the same.

Also, you shouldn’t be underestimating your chickens for they are actually smarter than they look. If you see that your chickens are eating every other plant but strays off over that one particular plant, most likely, that plant isn’t good for them and they know that.

So…can chickens eat apples? There is definitely nothing wrong feeding your chickens apples. Just like with most things… moderation is key. Be smart and be sure to always do the necessary preparations before feeding your chickens apples.

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