The apple tree is the most widespread fruit tree throughout most of the world, and its fruits have a long history of use as folk medicine. It is considered that the apple is the queen of health, and the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is completely justified!
When apples are fully ripe on the tree, they are sweet and juicy and contain an abundance of all important nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fiber.
That is why fallen ripe apples in country yards and orchards have always been first-class fruit food for domestic animals, including chickens.
In this article, we will analyze the nutritional values of apples and their benefits for your flock’s health, so keep on reading!
What is in Apple?
Apple is an excellent fruit that people consume daily. It is also widely available and used in cakes, pies, and many health products.
Since it is a good source of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and fiber, it is very beneficial for the health of the chicken’s organism on many levels.
Over time, more than 10,000 different varieties of apples have been created. Different types of apples have slightly different amounts of quality substances.
This is what 100 grams of fresh apple offers:
- total calories 52 g
- carbohydrates 13.8 g
- fiber 2.4 g
- sugars 10.4 g
- starch 0.1 g
- fat 0.2 g
- proteins 0.3 g
- Vitamin C 8%
- Vitamin K 3%
- Vitamin B6 2%
- Riboflavin 2%
- Vitamin A 1%
- Vitamin E 1%
- Thiamin 1%
- Folic acid 1%
- Potassium 3%
- Manganese 2%
- Magnesium 1%
- Phosphorus 1%
- Copper 1%
- Calcium 1%
- Iron 1%
An apple contains about 85% water, which is different from that of poultry drinkers. It is refined water called cell water. Amniotic fluid (fruit juice) from apples has the same surface tension as blood. It is highly structured water, which leads to great harmony in the body.
In addition, the chickens’ organism saves a lot of energy because it takes much less energy to transport plant water into the cellular water of the body than to transport drinking water from the drinking bowl.
As we mentioned above, this fruit’s nutritional and energy values are numerous, and the calories are very few. All of its positive properties can be used the most if the apple is eaten raw.
well-guarded from pathogens and infections and reduces oxidative stress from environmental factors such as pollution or radiation.
Apple Helps Digestion
In addition to minerals and vitamins, apples contain a certain amount of pectin, fruit juices, aromas and inhibitors, and cellulose, which directly affects your chickens’ digestion and prevents constipation,
Is Apple Good for Chickens?
The answer to this question is undoubtedly YES!
Apple is a balanced fruit that can support your chickens’ health in numerous ways. Here are some of them:
Apple Boosts the Immune System
The soluble fiber in apples is the key to producing a protein called interleukin-4. It has a direct anti-inflammatory impact and strengthens the immune system, making it less susceptible to infections and viruses. It also helps the chickens recover faster from infections.
Quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples, as an antioxidant, has anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic capacities. It helps the body by fighting inflammation and
decreasing cellular damage.
Apples are also well-known for their high vitamin C content. It supports and bolsters immunity by enhancing the epithelial barrier function, which keeps the chickens’ body
The pectin in apples is considered a probiotic. It helps the growth of beneficial bacteria in chickens’ gut, which help break down food, improve nutrient absorption, and reduce the overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the digestive tract.
Apples are also full of water that, besides additional hydration, helps make chickens’ digestion smoother and healthier. In any case, more than other, not-so-healthy chicken snacks!
Apple Improves Heart Health
Flavonoids, naturally present in apples, are associated with cardiovascular disease prevention. and have healthy heart-promoting properties
Apples can help reduce unhealthy fats in the bloodstream, improving heart health overall. The pectin binds to cholesterol and unhealthy fats, helping to remove them from the body.
This can help reduce the risk of heart disease in chickens.
Apple Prevents Obesity
Apples contain nutrients that aid lower bad cholesterol in your chickens. Lipoprotein, which is low-density cholesterol, damages your chickens’ health, hurting the internal organs and leading to obesity.
Chickens that suffer from obesity usually have health complications because the extra fat in their bodies obstructs body temperature regulation and makes their livers more fragile.
However, feeding apples to your chicken will keep them from becoming obese. The fibers found in apples will keep the chickens satiated and help them maintain a healthy weight.
Apples Help Build Strong Bones
In order to survive, your chickens need strong and healthy bones. The feed made for them intentionally contains nutrients that help bone development and the health of bones.
Apples have a therapeutic impact on your chickens’ skeletal and bone health. The crunchy fruit supports the function of bone-building minerals. such as calcium in the body.
Fresh apples provide access to a unique bone-building flavonoid called phloridzin. Found in the apple peel, this phytonutrient improves inflammation markers and curbs bone loss. It also increases bone density and reduces inflammation.
Apples are also an excellent source of vitamins A and C, which are also essential for bone health. Together, they keep chickens’ bones strong and healthy.
Do Chickens Like Apples?
Chickens need to eat different herbs, vegetables, and other green food. However, the fact that chickens also like fruit is rarely mentioned in the professional poultry literature.
Namely, apples contain numerous nutrients necessary for the proper functioning of the organisms of many animal species, including chickens.
However, chickens have partly individual tastes and preferences, so testing your flock by giving them apple slices is the best way to quickly determine whether they like this fruit.
If they do, make sure it becomes a regular treat for your feathered friends!
Can Chickens Eat Apple Cores?
Apple cores are edible for chickens. They contain a high concentration of probiotics that positively affect everything in the chickens’ body, including their immune system.
Although healthy and nutritious, they are a bit harder than the skin and flesh, which makes them difficult for your chickens to eat. If you give your chickens apple cores, cut them into small pieces to prevent them from choking, and your chickens will enjoy eating them without any problems.
Can Chickens Eat Apple Seeds?
This question is often debated, so let’s see why!
Apple seeds can have a toxic effect on humans and animals if taken in large quantities because they contain the substance amygdalin (vitamin B17). Chewed or ground seeds release highly toxic cyanide and can be fatal.
Depending on the apple variety type, 1 gram of seeds contains 1 to 4 mg of amygdalin, but the quantity of cyanide derived from the seeds is 0,6 mg per gram. A lethal dose of cyanide is around 50 to 300 mg for humans. It means that 83 to 500 seeds would cause cyanide poisoning.
It looks completely different with chickens. Since they don’t have teeth, they don’t chew their food but swallow it quickly. This means that when the seeds get digested, the amounts of cyanide released are very small.
Still, if you fear that your beloved feathered friends might get poisoned, remove the seeds from the apple cores before feeding.
How Many Apple Seeds Will Kill a Chicken?
The average apple has about five to eight seeds, and according to Encyclopedia Britannica, swallowing this small amount without chewing them is harmless.
You shouldn’t worry too much if you accidentally drop a few seeds on the ground.
Chickens are unlikely to eat them since they prefer pecking at whole fruits and vegetables. One or two seeds won’t hurt them, but it’s best to avoid feeding them to your chickens on purpose.
It will take seeds from four apples to be lethal for your chicken, so if you worry that your chickens might get cyanide poisoning, remove them from the apple before feeding.
Can Chickens Eat Apple Peelings?
Yes! If you are sure that the apple has not been treated with pesticides, do not peel it. Your chickens will love it and will also benefit from eating it.
Most of the medicinal properties are found in the skin of the apple. It packs one-third of its total fiber content and contains 6 times more vitamins than the flesh.
It contains pectin, which is excellent for your chickens’ gut health, and is also rich in antioxidants, which keep your birds satiated and boost their immune system.
Can Baby Chicks Eat Apples?
Yes! Baby chickens can eat apples. They will certainly enjoy this delicious and nutritious snack. Moreover, their health will benefit from it in many ways, as long as it is given in moderation.
It’s important to remember that baby chickens’ diet for the first few weeks should consist primarily of starter feed, and only later small pieces of apples can be added as a treat.
Additionally, the apple peel may be a bit tough for the chicks to digest, so offering them only the flesh would be best.
How to Feed Apples to Chickens?
Apples are a very affordable fruit because they are available throughout the year. They can be stored for several months before sale and kept for a long time after purchase.
Apple snacks should not exceed 10% of chicken feed and be given in moderation.
They can be prepared for chicken feeding in different ways.
Many growers simply throw a few apples down the drain. Chickens usually peck them all the way through, and only a few unused pieces sometimes remain.
You can also cut the apples in half and offer them for pecking.
Some breeders add dried apple chunks, as well as chopped or ground apples, to soft food. The proportion of water in an apple ensures good moisture in nutrition, making it desirable in summer.
Don’t forget to add homemade apple cider vinegar to your chickens’ drinking water in summer and winter. The amount of 10%.during ten days helps expel toxins from your chicken’s body and solve metabolic disorders.
Acetic acid stimulates the respiration of cells, enhances the formation of protein molecules in them, and increases energy production, which is reflected in the vitality of chickens.
So, the answer to the question of whether chickens can eat apples would be yes!
Apples contain various vitamins and minerals. They are rich in fiber and various plant antioxidant compounds, providing many health benefits.
It is not only individual substances that affect your chickens’ health benefits, but the combination of all secondary plant substances with other ingredients in the apple. That is why the apple is considered a fruit with an exceptional effect on vitality, so its use should not be missed in your chicken feed.
Remember, apple snacks should only be given in moderation to avoid malnutrition and maintain a healthy weight.
If you want your chickens to eat healthy, apple snacks can be a great choice, especially if you have them in your own garden!
Homemade apples grown in a natural traditional, or controlled integrated way do not contain toxic, harmful substances so you can give them to your chickens without fear.