Acorns

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by CrimsonTide248, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. CrimsonTide248

    CrimsonTide248 Chillin' With My Peeps

    100
    1
    121
    Aug 11, 2008
    Bay Minette
    A friend of mine just got some cochins and is wanting to know if it will be OK to put his coup under a water oak tree? Can they eat acorns and is it possible for them to choke on these small acorns?
     
  2. elf

    elf Out Of The Brooder

    41
    1
    34
    Mar 9, 2010
    Georgia
    It don't think it hurts them. I have 19 gigantic water oaks encircling my house. (One reason I bought this property although I may regret that if I outlive the oaks) Chickens try to eat these little acorns, then spit them out. Noticed they ate crushed ones on drive, so ground some in an old blender to give for a snack. Many farmers in the US fed their chickens largely on acorns during the depression. Research online says you can use acorns for a large percentage of chickens' protein needs, although when I read of some possibility of toxicity of the shells, I started just blending them enough to barely crack the shells and let them pick out the "meat"One of my roosters was particularly wild about these, and all partook but none ate huge amounts although they could. I only did this off and on for a month or so, when the acorns were freshly fallen. The great thing about the water oaks are that they attract jays, who dearly love the acorns. The jays chase off hawks and imitate the cries of hawks in order to scare them away from their babies.
     
  3. 12GAGirl

    12GAGirl Chillin' With My Peeps

    285
    2
    121
    Feb 2, 2010
    I have several oak trees in my yard and my rooster will pick the acorns up and throw them back down on the ground. I have yet to see the hens do this.
     
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,381
    133
    303
    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    My birds will eat a few, but I've never seen them eat very many. Probably just too tough to digest.

    Unless they've been crushed first. Then they'll spend considerable time picking out the bits of nut meat.

    In a big mast year it would be worthwhile to run them fast through a hammer mill or a shredder. Just enough to break them up a bit without grinding them into dust.

    .....Alan.
     
  5. scooter147

    scooter147 Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,042
    65
    221
    Jul 30, 2008
    Missouri
    I have several mature oak trees as well and I don't think I've seen a chicken eat one yet.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by