Hens eating whole acorns??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by PeepersMomma93, Dec 9, 2016.

  1. PeepersMomma93

    PeepersMomma93 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 8, 2015
    I was outside feeding my girls this morning and noticed one of them was eating un-opened acorns. Is this bad for them? I've seen posts talking about breaking acorns open for them but I've never seen or heard of them eating them whole. Thanks in advance.
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

    Nov 7, 2012
    I can't imagine a hen being able to swallow the acorns we have here, They are almost 1" wide, and some are well over an inch long. My dog thinks acorns are the greatest play things and chew toys ever invented. I guess if you see your hens eating them, and there are no dead birds, they can handle them. You may find that the egg yolks turn very dark due to the tannins in the acorns.

  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    They can eat them just fine. Make certain the birds have access to dirt and grit. Former may help detoxify tannin's of the acorns.
  4. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    [​IMG]Serious? A chicken can actually swallow an acorn whole? I think I would have trouble doing that.[​IMG]
    Good to know it wont hurt them though, now I can dump all the leaf litter from the lawn Vac. into their run without worry.
  5. memphis

    memphis Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 6, 2012
    My turkeys love 'em.
  6. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 25, 2012
    Chickens will almost never eat any food that is bad for them.

    This includes poisons as well as non-poisons snakes, frogs, song birds, grapes, lizards, scorpions, etc.

    Be not disappointed, if a flock of chickens is unable to swallow its' food whole they are perfectly happy to peck it to pieces and swallow the food one morsel at a time.

    I have even heard tails about free-range chickens eating an entire plow horse or mule if the farmer didn't pull the body far enough away from the barnyard.

    And what ever you do..... NEVER NEVER fall asleep inside your chicken coop...... you may wake up inside your hens.
  7. PeepersMomma93

    PeepersMomma93 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 8, 2015
    They are eating the small live oak acorns, and I'm glad to hear its okay [​IMG] she is only able to get them while she free ranges and I gave them some more grit just to make sure she isn't eating them for the grit.
  8. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps Premium Member

    I have a somewhat related question for the oak-knowledgeable amoungst y'all., Along with acorns and leaves my oaks also periodically drop dead limbs. Now I know that decaying wood can be a virtual treasure trove of tasty bugs, but is there anything else on a dead and decaying oak branch that may harm my chickens if I were to bring one of these 'treasure troves' into the run for them to peck at?

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