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drunken chickens?

 
pollinator
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I'm sad to say several years ago I canned peaches, I was a very hard year for us and time slipped by and we didn't eat a lot of the peaches.  I haven't canned since.  Every year I say this year I'm going to, and haven't managed it.  I was thinking I should get rid of the old peaches and clean the jars, to remove one of the obstacles, so maybe next year I will actually do it.  You are asking why I'm posting this on the chicken forum about now.  I want to throw the peaches into my compost pile, which is in the chicken yard.  I was wondering if the chickens manage to get to one of the peaches will it cause harm to them?  I thought I would put the peaches on the bottom and move the compost on top of the peaches, but the chickens never leave the compost pile alone, matter of fact they are quite excited when I add to the compost.  I don't want to endanger them.  I would love your thoughts, Thanks.  
 
pollinator
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Jen Fulkerson wrote:I'm sad to say several years ago I canned peaches, I was a very hard year for us and time slipped by and we didn't eat a lot of the peaches.  I haven't canned since.  Every year I say this year I'm going to, and haven't managed it.  I was thinking I should get rid of the old peaches and clean the jars, to remove one of the obstacles, so maybe next year I will actually do it.  You are asking why I'm posting this on the chicken forum about now.  I want to throw the peaches into my compost pile, which is in the chicken yard.  I was wondering if the chickens manage to get to one of the peaches will it cause harm to them?  I thought I would put the peaches on the bottom and move the compost on top of the peaches, but the chickens never leave the compost pile alone, matter of fact they are quite excited when I add to the compost.  I don't want to endanger them.  I would love your thoughts, Thanks.  



Are you concerned that they might have spoiled? If they're spoiled, they could hurt the chickens. I wouldn't chance it. I'd dig a hole somewhere in my garden and cover them over with dirt.
 
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First, are they canned with "tattler" lids and are they still popped down? Second, is there any sign of mold near the top?  If the lids are down and there's no mold, the chances are that the peaches will have lost nutritional value due to age, but not actually be "bad". I'd open a jar and sniff them - if they've fermented the smell should be obvious. Last but not least, if you're still concerned, I'd leave them by the door and only put one jar at a time in the chicken compost - if they're a "little off" the chicken's natural gut bacteria will probably cope. In fact if I've given my chickens something they're not used to, they'll usually only nibble a little - and sometimes only the bravest or stupidest (you choose) will take a nibble - and then see how it sits with them. If they decide it sat just fine and you show up the next day with bottle two, be prepared to stand back and wade out of a feeding frenzy! I've seen the very same behavior with 2 day old meat chicks - I introduce a little bit of greens on day and within a week they're hoovering a bagful and looking at me as if to say, "is that all?"

After that, if you're still concerned, I'd back up the suggestion of digging a hole elsewhere and dumping them in and putting the dirt back on top. I'm *sure* the worms will love it!
 
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My own chickens eat all sorts of vile stuff with no harm. Of course, they don't see it as vile at all.  Yum, gulp, down it goes. They'd take those peaches and devour them.

I could list some of the rotted, mold ridden, maggot infested stuff they've eaten, but heck, you could be eating breakfast right now and lose your appetite. But take my word, they will eat old stuff without much problem. In fact, they prefer blackened, moldy, half rotted pumpkins over fresh ones. Many people have fed chickens using giant compost piles into which are added goodly sums of very nasty garbage. The chickens do fine.

And do chickens get drunk? They appear to. I've never seen it, but my uncle got in trouble as a child for mixing beer and liquor in the chicken feed just so he could get the rooster drunk. The family story says that he was successful.
 
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As far as ‘bad’ canning, I’m only ever *really* concerned about Botulism, which may be present if the canning isn’t properly done. The toxin is colourless and tasteless, and can kill people and chickens too.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botulism
 
master pollinator
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I need more information.

If they have the peach pits in them; then no, you cannot give them to the chickens due to cyanide in the peach pits, (just like apple seeds and how cherry leaves produce cyanide), but if it is just old canned fruit, then let them eat them.
 
Jen Fulkerson
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Thanks so much for all the great information.  The peaches are peeled and pitted, and the jars are still sealed.  They don't appear to be moldy, but are darker than they were.  I guess my next step is to open one up and give it a sniff.  Thanks again everyone.
 
Travis Johnson
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Wow Jen, I thought I was brave, but I bow to you (sniffing suspect cans of old peaches). (LOL)

You are smart for cleaning up your old canned food. My Late Grandmother died in 2011, and it was years before that when she was able to can, so last fall we cleaned up her old canning jars. The steel tops had rusted through and mold was all through it. That was the nice part, they do not have Smellacomputers yet, otherwise all of us would be gagging. It was HORRIFIC.
 
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