Is there such a thing as a winter fodder apple? It seems like there are a few no-spray winter apples Black Arkansas that might be good December chicken food. Is the sugar low enough to be good food for animals? I also see the occasional notice about cyanide in wilted leaves. That was especially cherries, but is it true of apples? It would be lovely to have the apples automatically dropped to the chickens for a month or so, and then let the uneaten ones draw protein. Like a winter mulberry. Would that work? Or would it just bonk them?
I'm in northern Virginia, so it's the mild southern edge of the apple climate. The snow is usually not bad.
apples work well for this but i find chickens will only eat so many fallen apples. its best to mix up the trees and there fruit drop days, we also use pear, peach, plum, mulberry, persimmon and a few others. now i get a more diverse amount of fruit and so do the chickens. well be expanding to geese next spring.
when searching for an apple that will drop fruit for livestock i look for ones that hold fruit long into winter. apples can supply fruit much longer into winter than any i know of in my climate. persimmons are late and will still be dropping in now in december, but real high quality apples wont even be finishing until december here, the last ones drop in feb or march. its great if you can get one that taste excellent and heavy fruiting.
i live in an area with lots of wild apple trees and trees planted by settlers here a hundred years ago. i have no names but graft the ones i like at home. its a very easy way to get a lot of high quality trees cheap.
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