Can Chickens Eat Crab Apples

Can Chickens Eat Crab Apples? Are Crab Apples Safe?

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Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Pauline G. Carter

Yes, chickens can eat crab apples, but with some important considerations. Crab apples, like regular apples, are generally safe for chickens to eat, including the flesh and skin.

The seeds should be avoided because they contain amygdalin, a compound that can release cyanide when metabolized. While a chicken would need to consume a significant amount of seeds to experience cyanide poisoning, it’s best to err on the side of caution and remove the seeds before offering crab apples to your chickens.

It’s also worth noting that crab apples can be quite tart, and not all chickens might find them palatable. As with introducing any new food, it should be done gradually and in moderation to avoid digestive upset. Make sure that the crab apples haven’t been treated with pesticides or other chemicals that could be harmful to chickens. Providing a varied diet that includes grains, vegetables, and occasional fruits like crab apples can contribute to the overall health and well-being of chickens.

What Are Crab Apples?

Crab apples, often regarded as the wild ancestors of domestic apples, are small, tart fruits that can vary in color from yellow to deep red. These fruits are common in many parts of the world and are often found in gardens and wild landscapes.

Nutritional Profile of Crab Apples

Despite their small size, crab apples pack a nutritional punch. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, which are essential for a balanced diet.

Chickens and Their Diet

Typical Diet of Chickens

Chickens are omnivorous creatures that enjoy a varied diet, including grains, seeds, insects, and even small fruits and vegetables.

The Importance of Variety in a Chicken’s Diet

A diverse diet is crucial for the health and well-being of chickens, contributing to their nutritional balance and behavioral enrichment.

The Safety of Crab Apples for Chickens

Can Chickens Eat Crab Apples Safely?

Yes, but with some caveats. The core question many poultry enthusiasts have is whether crab apples are safe for their feathered friends.

Potential Risks of Feeding Crab Apples to Chickens

While crab apples are not toxic to chickens, their seeds contain amygdalin, which can release cyanide when metabolized. However, the risk is minimal if chickens consume these in small quantities.

Benefits of Crab Apples for Chickens

Nutritional Benefits

Crab apples can offer chickens a boost in vitamins and dietary fiber, which are beneficial for their digestive system.

Behavioral Benefits

Pecking at crab apples can also provide behavioral stimulation, mimicking their natural foraging behavior.

How to Feed Crab Apples to Chickens

Preparing Crab Apples

Before offering crab apples to your chickens, it’s important to wash them thoroughly and cut them into smaller pieces to avoid choking hazards.

Recommended Portions and Frequency

Like any treat, crab apples should be given in moderation, ensuring they do not comprise more than 10% of the chicken’s overall diet.

Can ducks eat crab apples?

Ducks are omnivorous, meaning they eat both plants and animals. This diet can vary depending on the specific species of duck but generally includes things like insects, small fish, and crustaceans. Some ducks will also eat fruit, and crab apples are a popular choice.

Crab apples are a type of small, tart apple that is usually red or green. They are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as fiber. Ducks enjoy eating them, and they can provide some health benefits.

Just like with any other food, it is important to moderate the amount of crab apples that ducks eat. Too much of any one thing can lead to health problems. But as part of a balanced diet, crab apples can be a delicious and healthy treat for ducks!

Can chickens eat apple cores?

Can chickens eat apple cores

Chickens are omnivores, so they can technically eat apple cores. However, apple cores are not the most ideal food for chickens. They are mostly made up of fiber, which chickens can’t digest very well.

This can lead to digestive issues for chickens if they eat too many apple cores. It’s best to avoid feeding your chickens apple cores and instead give them other fruits and vegetables that are easier for them to digest.

FAQs: Chickens Eat Crab Apples

Can chickens eat crab apples?

Chickens can eat crab apples, but moderation is key due to their tartness. Remove the seeds to avoid the risk of cyanide poisoning from amygdalin.

Are crab apples safe for chickens?

Crab apples are safe for chickens if seeds are removed and they haven’t been treated with chemicals. Offer in small quantities as a treat.

Can chickens eat apples?

Chickens can eat apples, including the flesh and skin. Ensure the apples are seedless and chopped into small, manageable pieces to prevent choking.

Can chickens eat apple peels?

Apple peels are safe for chickens and can be a healthy treat. Wash the peels thoroughly to remove any pesticides or chemicals before feeding.


Yes, chickens can eat crab apples. They are a good source of food for chickens. Crab apples are high in vitamin C and other nutrients, and they can help chickens stay healthy.

About Author (Pauline G. Carter)

Pauline G. Carter

Pauline G. Carter is a well-known pet blogger who has written about the world of pets for several years. She is passionate about pets, from cats and dogs to birds, reptiles, and poultry. Her blog, which is updated regularly, is filled with articles and guides on pet care, nutrition, and training. She also shares her experiences and observations on pet ownership, making her blog relatable and informative for pet lovers. She is a true animal advocate and is dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership. Let’s Go …

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