New free food source?

SandraMort

Songster
11 Years
Jul 7, 2008
1,115
2
171
ny
Black walnuts have thick green hulls with juicy pulp underneath them. Under that is the walnut in shell. Often, in the pulp, there are little worms. They're totally harmless to the nut and I have been throwing them away with the hulls, but today we let some of the chickens have them.

They went nuts! So... is there any reason to not hull the nuts in the pen and leave the wormy hulls for them to pick through? How about leaving a pile of them to attract more of these worms for them to eat?

Edit: I live on a property with a LOT of black walnut trees. I've been collecting buckets and buckets and buckets full of the things. There's definitely a lot of potential for food here, both for the chickens and myself. Also, if anybody knows any other ways to utilize the nuts (shells for bedding or grit maybe?) that would be good. Always looking to save a dollar!
 
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bearz

Songster
11 Years
May 20, 2008
290
0
154
The only thing I can think of is if you are selling the eggs or the chickens for meat. You would have to make sure that no one who will be consuming them has a tree nut allergy. You would be amazed at how sensitive tree nut allergic people could be to the cross-contamination even from the hull.
 

SandraMort

Songster
11 Years
Jul 7, 2008
1,115
2
171
ny
Noooo no selling. Somebody told me that the hulls are poisonous to fish, so what about chickens?

Quote:
 

Akane

Crowing
11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
4,654
51
251
Walnut trees produce a toxin. It is found in that green hull around the nut. I would be cautious letting them have the hulls if they try to eat too many. However I have walnut trees all over the place and I plan on free ranging. There's no way I could seperate chickens from walnuts and I'm not too concerned about it. I doubt they will actually eat the hulls with other things around.
 
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SandraMort

Songster
11 Years
Jul 7, 2008
1,115
2
171
ny
I didn't mean feeding them hulls, I meant feeding them the bugs growing ON the hulls. So far, they haven't shown interest in the hulls themselves.
 

Akane

Crowing
11 Years
Jun 15, 2008
4,654
51
251
I know but how hard is it to go from pecking bug in hull to pecking hull? If they start eating any of them you could have problems. If your giving it to them in a brooder or empty pen where they don't have much else and then they eat all the bugs and get bored they might decide to eat a little here and there and poison themselves. I'd be careful.
 

SandraMort

Songster
11 Years
Jul 7, 2008
1,115
2
171
ny
No, this would be outside in the run, not in the brooder. They're almost a month old now.
 

dlhunicorn

Human Encyclopedia
13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
4,870
44
251
I would forego this particular treat...
...when in doubt... dont.
 

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