Oh No, I Put Apple Seeds in Compost Bin!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sunflour, Nov 14, 2014.

  1. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    My chickens don't yet have access to a new compost bin I have been starting. By mistake, cores & seeds from a bushel of apples was thrown into that bin…Had been so careful to only throw chicken safe stuff in it…It was to be their playground!

    I'm worried that the seeds pose a danger if I do let them forage in the bin. Thought about trying to shovel all out and start over, but doubt I could be 100% sure not to miss some.

    Since it is recommended on many info sites to compost apple cores without any warnings of using in a veggie garden, maybe it would be safe to just leave it as it is. And not let the hens access the pile for 6 months or so?

    Any opinions?
  2. Toddrick

    Toddrick Songster

    Sep 28, 2014
    I don't think apples or their seeds are a problem at all.
  3. Blooie

    Blooie Team Spina Bifida

    Feb 25, 2014
    Northwestern Wyoming
    My Coop
    Well, I don't want to tell you 'yes' or 'no', but I can tell you my experiences with apple seeds.. Behind my coop is an apple orchard. Well, not exactly an orchard, more like 3 trees, but still an orchard to me. My girls love to wander back there eating dropped apples and I've never had an issue. In fact, I didn't know they "shouldn't" eat them until a while back when I read it on here. Huh. Whaddaya know!

    Right or wrong, this is how I look at it. Chickens are foragers....most of them anyway...and opportunistic eaters. When they are free ranging on large properties or farmsteads, nobody is out there coring and de-seeding any apples they may run across. Now obviously I want to keep them away from things are obviously not good for them - bits of metal, documented toxic plants such as rhubarb leaves, and any plants that may have been treated chemically, but that last one is a little tough, I don't use chemicals but my neighbors do, and according to the arborist we recently had checking the health of the trees in our town, what's sprayed on a tree in one yard WILL affect neighboring yards via drift or seeping outward in the ground.

    So common sense is my best friend here, and I rely on it a lot. Eating apples hasn't caused any difficulties with my chickens and they love them. Since your apples will compost down, I don't see any harm. They won't find every single apple seed in there and devour them like an 8 year old with popcorn at a movie theater - plenty of them will be missed. BUT that's just me....your mileage may vary. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Relax, you are OK. Apple seeds like many fruit seeds contain cyanide, a tiny, teeny-weeny, itsy bitsy amount of cyanide. There is not enough cyanide in there to hurt a chicken. They could eat a bunch of seeds and not get enough cyanide to cause a problem.

    Poisoning is about dosage. The dosage has to be high enough to cause a problem before you have a problem. You don’t have a problem.

    There are many poisons that we encounter every day. Practically every food we eat has some potential poison in it. The reason we are still alive is that the dosage is so small they are not a threat. An example, potatoes contain a poison, yet many of us eat potatoes every day. To get enough of that potentially harmful chemical to do any damage a normal reasonably healthy adult would need to eat about 60 pounds of potatoes at a time. Our liver is pretty good at removing that toxin from out system so the effect is not cumulative. You’d have to eat that much at a sitting for it to harm you. You just physically can’t eat enough to harm yourself with hat chemical. Yet I’ve seen a book written by someone about it telling how dangerous potatoes are. I’ve seen stuff on the internet where you should never eat another potato because you will die if you do.

    If it makes you feel better to wait a few weeks or even months before you give them access, by all means do so. Personally I would not wait because of the apples.
    1 person likes this.
  5. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master

    Jan 10, 2013
    Thanks for opinions..honestly that's what I thought. But sometimes I just need to hear what y'all think.

    I read an old thread and someone gave a link that showed even if we, chickens or wild birds ate the seeds, the coating doesn't break down in gastric acid …and that's how the seeds get scattered by birds without cyanide issues.

    Honestly, it is getting too cold for me to sit and monitor ranging now….will likely wait a while, get the fence up and by then have lots of things more interesting in the hen's compost bin.


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