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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Apple Treats for Chickens


It's apple season! Local apples are plentiful at farmer's markets, in the grocery store and if you're lucky, on the trees on your property. We feed our horses the apples from our trees when we can and store-bought apples other times of the year, and when we have extras, I like to treat the chickens with fun apple treats.

 
Chickens love apples, and the skins and flesh are nutritious treats. Apples contain vitamins and minerals, as well as pectin and amino acids.  There are a couple of fun ways to serve up apple treats to your flock....

Stuffed Apples - For this fun treat,  I use three or four apples, 1/2 Cup of natural peanut butter, 1/2 Cup of unsalted almonds and 1/2 Cup of dried cranberries. You can substitute raisins, sunflower seed or another nut if you wish.


Wash and core the apples, leaving the bottom intact.  Grind the almonds in a coffee grinder or food processor, then mix with the remaining ingredients in a small bowl. Stuff each apple.





Your chickens will love pecking at the peanut butter and then eating the apple, which ends up being rolled around the run as they fight to get all the peanut butter out.  Be sure to provide them plenty of fresh water anytime you feed them something sticky like peanut butter.



Apple Garlands - Using butcher's twine, thread diced apples, zucchini and popcorn into garlands to hang in the run.


You can also string cranberries, grapes, or sliced banana, zucchini or beets for them.




Hang the garlands in the run for the chickens to peck at.  Just be sure to remove the strings once they eat the treats so they don't pull them down and possibly choke on them.


Hanging Apples - You can also wash and core whole apples and hang them in the run. The chickens will work on them slowly, enjoying pecking at them at they hang.



Apple and Seed Garland - And lastly, here's an idea from Beneath the Rowan Tree for wild birds that can be adapted for the chickens.  String apples slices with whole fresh cranberries and walnut halves filled with peanut butter, topped with seeds.

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(One warning: Apple seeds contain traces of cyanide, so be sure to core or otherwise remove any seeds before feeding apples to your flock.)  




Fresh Eggs Daily

13 comments:

  1. I love these ideas! Cant wait to try them and switch up a little these recipes for my chickens! Im sure it will cure the boredom as well! :)

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  2. Ok, my husband and I are on diets at the moment. So I thought the stuffed apple recipe was for humans. lol It looks good enough for a human! But those are great ideas. I'll have to make them for my hens.

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    1. That's too funny! I admit that our puppy and I DID eat some of the peanut butter, almond craisin mix on apple slices for lunch! I was hungry and it looked so good - btw it was!

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  3. I can't wait to try these out. What a great project for the kids and I to complete together!
    Thanks!

    Sonja Twombly of http://lallybrochfarms.blogspot.com/

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  4. What great ideas!

    I eat sliced apples with peanut butter all the time.

    Have a wonderful Friday!

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  5. Love your blog!

    Sheila
    sshook7888@aol.com

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  6. Thanks for these great ideas. It just so happens that I have a few apple trees and way too many apples for us, even canning. I was hoping I could feed them to my hens. I plan to core and make garlands for the gals.

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  7. Oh, those look great!! Thank you for sharing on Sharing Saturday!!

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  8. Sent this site onto our daughter as they have just gotten 3 hens. It'll be great for the girls to string the apples and other goodies for the hens.

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