apple pomace

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by brandywine, Sep 16, 2008.

  1. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I can get apple pomace (the crushed solids left over after pressing for cider) from a nearby cider press for free.

    My girls went wild for the leavings when I made applesauce recently, and will peck happily at cores and culls I throw to them.

    Can I feed them pomace ad lib until the press closes down for the winter?

    Next year, when have hoofstock to feed, they'll be seeing a lot of me!
     
  2. Toast n Jelly

    Toast n Jelly Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Would you think that they'd eat less of their feed if they had free access to the apple pomace? I think that I'd give it as a treat but not so that their intake of other needed nourishment would be jeopordized.
     
  3. tvtaber

    tvtaber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd feed it to them; as much as they could eat in a few hours. They love apples and this is not only free but nutritious. If it seems like you have too much for them, you could freeze the extra or I bet it composts really quickly.

    Edited to say: I do not go in for the "treats" versus "feed" thought process. Most folks agree free ranging, if you can do it, is healthiest and with that system you have to assume the hens can regulate their intake of feed and other stuff. Why wouldn't we make the same assumption for hens in a run? My only concern would be feding so much that it spoils before they eat it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2008
  4. brandywine

    brandywine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm with you tvtaber. My girls free-range daytimes. It's astounding to me how much feed they go through -- and how stinky the coop is -- when they are occasionally shut in for a day. They are obviously getting most of their calories out in the weeds. And this is all free to me, and I don't have to clean it up.

    I'm much more of the "What can they eat that doesn't cost anything?" school than the "How can I provide them with the perfect agribusinessly correct balanced ration, and darn the expense?"

    Obviously, apple pomace is low in protein, and if they eat a lot of apple pomace, it may slow down their growth a bit. So what? I'm not paying for it, and I am pretty sure that free-range birds with starter/grower available ad lib are not going to die of kwashiorkor just because the apples are so yummy.

    My question had to do with any known contra-indications to feeding pomace in large quantities. I could find lots about feeding it to ruminants and swine, but nothing but passing reference to poultry.

    You know, like feeding huge quantities of broccoli to cows makes them explode ... well, die, anyway. It's the sort of thing you want to know about. Raisins kill dogs, parsley kills parrots, weird stuff like that.

    I'll feed the pomace daytimes, outside the run, and toss leftovers on the compost, or down near the deer trails. The press is open three days a week, so that's the max I can toss them fresh stuff.
     
  5. tvtaber

    tvtaber Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh well, that is a good question. And I did not know about parsely and parrots (although I have zero hankering for a parrot, it is still good to know!). We used to have an apple tree in the yard and the chickens ate A LOT of fallen apples with no bad effects. You can always start out small and build up the quantities slowly. Personally, I would take the stuff just for the compost pile, even though DH would think I was completely insane!
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    I have fed parsley to my parrots, rabbits and my family, with no problem. It's actually a very nutritious food. I would never give them the seeds or essential oil. Like anything else, I feed in moderation, as part of a balanced diet.
     
  7. oldtimer

    oldtimer Out Of The Brooder

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    We run our chickens in our orchard. They keep the bugs down, they take care of worms for us, and they naturally fertilize for us. This time of year we are in full cider production, when we are not canning the garden produce. Our chickens come running when they see us come out with a bowl of apple pomace (mash). I do agree though, only feed them a ration. If you have a way of freezing it, do so. We have always kept a "chicken bucket", any kitchen waste goes into this. Potato peels, old pasta, rice etc. Especially egg shells, let them dry for a day or two, grind them up, we never buy oyster shell. It is important to smash them so they don't look anything like an egg. Add to your chicken bucket a scoop of apple mash, you'll have some happy chickens.
     

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