Chickens love table scraps, fruits (like apples), vegetables, and other foods we share with them.
Just as I think I speak on behalf of most backyard chicken owners when I say we enjoy sharing scraps and different foods with them, right?
Can chickens eat apple skins? Yes, apples and the skins or peels of apples are fine for chickens. Just try chopping some apples up and sharing them with your flock and you’ll see how much chickens love apples.
Are Apples Good for Chickens?
Yes, apples are just as good and healthy for chickens as they are for us.
Most fruits are fine for chickens, and help to provide a wide range of minerals, vitamins, and other good nutrition.
It’s always worth double-checking a fruit is safe first. But very few aren’t. Also, there is a good chance your chickens will not eat anything they think isn’t OK for them. They are surprisingly smart about what they do and don’t eat.
Just remember not to get carried away. Your flock should be getting at least 90% of the food they consume from their feed.
The general rule of thumb is that you have around 10% room within their diet to give them scraps and other foods.
Related – Can chickens eat crab apples? (Yep, these mini apples are awesome).
Are Apple Cores and Seeds Bad for Chickens?
I’m sure you’ve heard that the core of an apple, and the seeds, in particular, of apples, are bad for pets.
I was always told growing up that apple seeds are poisonous for humans too!
This is because it became common knowledge that apple seeds contain arsenic, and this is a scary word because it’s a deadly poison.
Before you start panicking about the odd seed you ate here and there, don’t worry. According to MedicalNewsToday, you would need to eat around two cups of ground apple seeds to make a fatal dose.
Obviously, you may experience mild symptoms from less. Chickens are a lot smaller than us too, so they would need even less. But still, we’re talking about a lot of crushed up apple seeds to be dangerous.
In my opinion, you may as well avoid giving your chickens the core and seeds of an apple just to be on the super-safe side.
But it’s not going to cause them any health issues if they eat a few seeds from time-to-time.
Other Fruits That Are Good for Chickens
While we’re on the topic of fruits that are good for chickens, here are some to try with your flock:
Bananas – I covered these in more detail here.
Melons – A good water-dense fruit for those hot days.
Berries – Most berries are fine, and chickens love pecking them off bushes and chasing them around.
Pears – I love pears, so I often have them in the house. They make for a nice, juicy treat.
Grapes – I challenge anyone to find a chicken that doesn’t love a grape!
Pumpkins – I mention this because so many pumpkins go to waste over Halloween. Put the word out that you have some chickens that are accepting donations.
This is just a short list of a few of my favs. If you have fruit trees growing in your yard, check they’re safe for chickens – both the fruit and the tree – and you have yourself some free food for your flock.
If you love apples, but don’t like eating the skin your chickens will be more than happy to help you out by eating them.
Apple skins and the flesh of the apple makes for a healthy treat for chickens. You should avoid giving them the core as I explained above, but if they enjoy apples sharing some is the least you can do.
Are apple seeds poisonous? – MedicalNewsToday.com
Header image by Annie Spratt, in-body image by Andrew johnson on Unsplash