Can chickens eat apples?

Can Chickens Eat Apples? (Peel, Skin, Core, Seeds)

You may have seen or encountered farmers warning you not to feed apples to your chickens. The reason they provide is that apple seeds contain traces of toxic elements like cyanide. But still, you are wondering whether you should let your feathered friends roam around in your apple orchard or not.

The answer is yes, chickens can eat apples without any problem. Apples are full of vitamins and minerals and are a good source of fiber as well. However, be cautious do not let your chickens roam in your orchard for more than an hour. Don’t let them make apples their daily routine diet.

In this article you are going to get all the answers you had in your mind regarding the question, can chickens eat apples?

Follow along or you can select any part you want to read from the table of content below.

5 Proven Benefits of Feeding Apples to Chickens

Increased Nutritional Value:

According to Cornell University, Apples are a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, potassium, and iron, that help in boosting the chickens intestinal health.

“Apples are comprised of bioactive constituents such as phytochemicals and prebiotics that could help intestinal health and the gut microbiome,”

Elad Tako

Improved Digestion:

Apples are a great source of fiber, which can help in boosting the digestion system of your flock. Chickens don’t know what they are eating and they messed up their digestive system all the time.

Feeding some chunks of apple in their routine diet can soften the pressure build up in their stomach.

Increased Hydration:

Chickens need to be hydrated all the time and in summer when the temperature is so high, apples can be a source of relief for your flock. Apple contains about 85% water, which can help your chickens fight the harsh temperature in summer and stay hydrated throughout the day.

Reduced Stress:

If you are having a huge flock in your backyard, the chances of your stress among your feathered friends are high. To reduce that stress, apples can be a nutritionally rich treat to provide relief to your stressed chickens.

Increased Weight:

Keeping chickens comes with a lot of problems and one is the molting season. In the molting season, chickens are losing their feathers and need some healthy treatment to avoid the risk of losing weight. Feeding apples during the molting season can provide the nutrients your flock needs to regain the lost weight.

Can Chickens Eat Apple Cores And Seeds?

can chickens eat apple seeds

No, chickens cannot eat apple seeds at all. You should remove the apple seeds before letting your flock feasting on the flash. Although apples can be a good source of minerals and dietary fibers for your chickens, however, apple seeds can prove poisonous for your flock.

Apple seeds contain a toxic compound called amygdalin, which when consumed can create a toxic effect on your innocent feathered friends. When chickens consume apple seeds, the digestive elements present in their stomach start crushing them. A compound called cyanide got released inside the chickens stomachs which can prove lethal for their survival.

Chickens don’t have the brain to process whether they should eat the seed or not. If you let them feast on a raw apple they surely gonna eat it all. The best practice is to remove the seeds and cut the apple into small pieces before feeding them.

How Many Apple Seeds Will Kill A Chicken?

Normally, you should not let your chickens eat the apple seeds as they contain toxic elements like cyanide. But sometimes due to mismanagement, you forget to remove the seeds before feeding and want to know how much it takes to poison your chickens.

It is not necessary that every seed consumed by your chicken gets crushed inside the stomach, sometimes they pass through.

An average apple seed contains 1-4 mg of cyanide. It takes about 4 mg/lb of hydrogen cyanide to poison your feathered friends.

Chicken WeightCyanide ValueApple Seed
1 LB4 MG1
3 LB12 MG4-12
5 LB20 MG5-19
8 LB32 MG9-33
10 LB40 MG11-39
16 LB60 MG16-62

Can Chickens Eat Apples Peel?

can chickens eat apple peels

Yes, absolutely chickens can apple peel or some people call it skin. In fact, the apple peel contains more antioxidants than that present in the whole flesh. If you are used to the practice of peeling the apple before feeding, stop it now. You are missing a great number of antioxidants for your flock.

The peels normally contain a large number of antioxidants present in apples. According to ACS Publications, an average normal size apple peel contain the antioxidant equivalent of 820 mg of vitamin C.

You can create a number of tasty treats with apple peels for your chickens. Starting with the yogurt mixed with the peels and apple flash. Chicken love to eat yogurt and it is a healthy treat for chickens. Yogurts mixed with apple peels and flash make a great treat for your flock.

Crushing the apple peels into small pieces and mixing them up with apple flash can also make a great treat for your flock. Add a little bit of honey to it, don’t add too much as it will increase the amount of sugar intake and can cause trouble. Just add a little to add a bonus taste to it.

Apple Treats for Chickens

Chickens love eating apples and it’s a source of vital nutrients and fibers for a healthy life cycle. If you want a basket full of healthy eggs, you should check out the following treats for your chickens made out of apple flash:

Apple Slices With Peanut Butter:

Cut the apple into slices and remove the core and seeds. Now add peanut butter and put it in the freezer for some time. Your feathered friends gonna love this chilled treat full of nutrients and fiber.

Apples Stuffed with Sunflower seeds:

This treat can be made using sunflower seeds, natural peanut butter, and a whole apple. Put some peanut butter on top of the apple and sprinkle the sunflower seeds on top of it. Also, you can do it by cutting the apple into 2 pieces, applying peanut butter, and sprinkling sunflower seeds.

Chickens will often run over the apple in the excitement of peaking the sunflower seed from it.

Apple Garlands:

Everyone loves to wear garlands and chickens too. Garlands made out of square chunks of apples and other healthy fruits and vegetables will surely make a smile on your feathered friends. To make these garlands you need the following things:

  1. A soft cotton thread
  2. Apple cuts into square chunks
  3. 5 pieces of grapes
  4. 2 strawberries
  5. Cranberries
  6. Radishes

Put all these sweet fruits inside the garland with the help of a needle. Tie both ends of the garland and hang it somewhere high accessible by chickens. Your backyard friends gonna love peaking on the hung garland full of tasty treats.

Can Baby Chickens Eat Apples?

can baby chickens eat apples

Yes, baby chickens can eat apples. It is recommended not to feed too much apple to baby chicks as it may cause trouble in your tiny friend’s stomach. Apple should not be a part of their regular feed and it shouldn’t make a large proportion of the daily feed cycle.

The best practice for feeding apples to baby chickens is by cutting the flash into tiny tiny pieces and mixing them with a little amount of yogurt. Avoid feeding them apple seeds, stem, and leaves, they can cause deadly for your little friends.

Normally baby chicks are a little bit shy and won’t touch the tiny dice. The brave ones are the ones who will start peaking at it and the rest of the flock will follow.

Stick to the recommended diet for baby chickens. Chicks require a balanced diet consisting mainly of grains and other protein-rich foods to meet their daily nutritional needs.

Frequently Asked Question

Can chickens eat apples with skin?

Yes, chickens can eat apples with skin. You are missing a large amount of fiber for your flock if you are not feeding them apples with skin.

Can chickens eat apples seeds?

Yes, chickens can eat apple peels and seeds. However, apple seeds if consumed in a large country can prove lethal for your flock as they contain traces of toxic compounds like cyanide.

Can you give chickens a whole apple?

Yes, chickens can eat the whole apple. However, the core and seed can cause trouble as they contain toxic compounds like cyanide.

Can chickens eat carrots?

Yes just like rabbits, chickens also love to eat carrots, and it’s a healthy supplement you can give to your chickens on a regular basis.

Winner Winner Happy Chickens

Apples can be a healthy and enjoyable treat for your flock. Chickens certainly enjoy the taste of every fruit and especially love that apples. It is important to never make apples their only occasional treat. Chickens need a large source of nutrients that are not fulfilled by only feeding apples.

You should not rely upon apples as a staple food. A balanced diet consisting of grains, proteins, and occasional fruits and vegetables is necessary to meet the nutritional needs of chickens. It supports their overall health and well-being and increases their immunity to viral diseases.

Moderation should be implemented while feeding apples to chickens, it is always recommended to consult a poultry specialist for specific dietary recommendations.

You should have got the answer to your question, “can chickens eat apples” Now.

Read Also:

Can Chickens Eat Cucumbers?

Can Chickens Eat Bananas?

Can chickens eat strawberries?

Can Chickens eat Grapes?


  • Samantha Thompson

    is a content writer from Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for healthy eating and enjoys writing about topics such as organic food, home cooking and food waste reduction. Samantha's writing is known for its creative and delicious approach, encouraging readers to make sustainable food choices.

    [email protected] Thompson Samantha