New free food source?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SandraMort, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    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!
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  2. bearz

    bearz Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 20, 2008
    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.
     
  3. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    Noooo no selling. Somebody told me that the hulls are poisonous to fish, so what about chickens?

    Quote:
     
  4. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    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.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  5. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    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.
     
  6. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    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.
     
  7. SandraMort

    SandraMort Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 7, 2008
    ny
    No, this would be outside in the run, not in the brooder. They're almost a month old now.
     
  8. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
    I would forego this particular treat...
    ...when in doubt... dont.
     

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