English Walnuts - Harmful?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Optiker, Dec 4, 2018.

  1. Optiker

    Optiker Chirping

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    I have a couple of english walnut trees and each fall harvest the nuts. I shell them myself and give the nuts to family, friends and neighbors. I get about 60 lbs. of walnut meats from the two trees.
    I've noticed that when the chickens are free ranging, they explore under the trees for broken nuts left by squirrels and magpies and clean up any nut meat. When I sit under the tree and collect and hull nuts, any broken ones go to the chickens as a treat. They love the nuts, so as I shell nuts, I collect small pieces and serve them with their morning mash.
    Lately, egg production is way down - eight layers, total of zero to two eggs per day. These are black australorps which I understand are good winter layers as I have seen in the past. In addition, though they molted earlier in the fall, they seem to continue molting, though their feathers have grown back after the earlier molt.
    Question...while I've read a number of sources that say walnuts are OK, and many that say if it's not good for them, they won't eat it, anybody here with comments on whether or not the nuts would affect egg laying, or are in any way harmful? I do understand that iot's not good to feed anything moldy, so shouldn't give them any nuts that are moldy.
    Incidentally, their favorite snack is raw, shelled sunflower kernels, or when I "harvest" them from the garden, live earthworms. They get about a cupful or more for the eight every day as their mid-day snack and just go wild when they see me coming.
    Thanks for any comments!
    Optiker
     
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  2. LlamaGirl4

    LlamaGirl4 Songster

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    My chickens eat walnuts that are in the neighbors yard and they’re fine. Some are laying but most have stopped
     
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  3. Chickassan

    Chickassan Crossing the Road

    I would think walnuts would be fine. They have alot of omega-3 which is good for the chickens.:)
     
  4. townchicks

    townchicks Crowing

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    More likely the time of year, but you could cut out the walnuts for a couple of weeks, and see what happens.
     
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  5. Shadrach

    Shadrach Crowing

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    I can't imagine that English walnuts are much different from the walnuts that grow here.
    The chickens here in Catalonia have been eating walnuts for centuries.
    I'm not sure where the idea that chickens shouldn't eat nuts originated from.:idunno
     
  6. Optiker

    Optiker Chirping

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    All...thanks for your prompt replies...sets my mind at ease.

    SHADRACH...I haven't read anything about walnuts being bad for them, just that if they are moldy, the mold is not good for them since it carries toxins. But, since I hadn't seen anything that was definitive other than the mold issue, I wanted to make sure.

    Optiker
     
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  7. Shadrach

    Shadrach Crowing

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    Ah, I thought you may have read one of the posts or articles here that say nuts are bad for chickens. The comment wasn't directed at you as such.:)
     
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