Feeding Ash Keys and maple "helicopters"

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MrChicken207, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. MrChicken207

    MrChicken207 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2010
    Caribou, Maine
    I was just wondering if someone who has a large maple and/or ash tree (or multiple) who produce alot of seeds could actually feed that seed to their chickens and turkeys? I know turkeys will eat acorns. These seeds are much smaller. I also know that Ash keys can be eaten by humans (they taste a bit like hazel nuts).
  2. lleighmay

    lleighmay Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 21, 2008
    Woodlawn, VA
    I don't know about ash keys but my chicken run is situated under a large maple tree. They didn't seem particularly interested in the seeds this spring so I don't know if less picky birds would/could eat them or not. I don't think they're poisonous but maybe my chickens know more about that than I do.
  3. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    How interesting. I never knew that the seedpods were called keys.

    I did a little googling and it appears that both maple and ash keys are non toxic and edible.
    I agree with lleighmay I have lots of maple around here and my chickens won't eat them. Maybe if they were shelled, but that seems like way too much work to me.

    The Ash trees around here don't have keys. They produce clusters of red berries.
    I've never seen the birds here eat them. The neighbor's 2 year old did. That tree was cut down the next day. He was and is OK. When I was a kid the birds did eat the berries on the mountain ash.

    Imp- You'll have to let us know if your chickens will eat them.
  4. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    For some reason, we had a bumper crop of tiny maple seeds (I *think* they were maple - we don't have ash) last fall. The seeds were oily enough to stain the driveway when crushed underfoot. When my birds were free-ranging around the yard, they went NUTS for those things! They pecked the meaty parts right off, and left the wings behind. I'm hoping we get the seeds again next fall, because we have more chickens this year. [​IMG]
  5. jomercer

    jomercer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Maple "copters" are botanically called samaras (rhymes with "cameras"). Rodents like them. It will be interesting to see whether my girls enjoy the red maple samaras next spring.
  6. whenchickensdream

    whenchickensdream Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 26, 2009
    Glad someone else called them copters - I was very confused. lol

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