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Storing bad apples for winter animal feed supplement

 
steward
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Location: Maine (zone 5)
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So I've got an enormous apple supply and I'm thinking about how to use up the bad ones.

One idea was to smash them into a plastic trash can and add some water and cover it up.  The idea being that they could ferment for the rest of the season then use the slurry as a feed additive to the small flock of chickens that I still have. This is assuming that what I end up with is something like an apple vinegar mash.  

In the past, I had pigs so this was not an issue.  I took a year off from pigs and now I've got roughly 60 gallons of bad apples to use up weekly from now until mid november.

I could dry some I suppose but that entails attracting enormous amounts of yellow jackets as I'd have to do it on tarps in the driveway. I'm thinking that's not ideal.  

I'm open to all other ideas.

 
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Ha, I wanted to post a similar question:

If I am hijacking your post by turning it into another direction feel free to ask me to open a new topic.

My question was: If I mash apples (and other fruits) and put them into barrels, the same way as to make alcohol to distill, can I feed it to livestock?

In other words: How well do the animals cope with the alcohol?

As far as I know, with pigs it is not a big deal, they get drunk and sleep if they get too much fermented apples.
But what about ducks? Anyone tried it? Seems like a consistency which they can eat.

Craig: why would you add water into your mashed apples? To slow down the fermentation process? I think it is risky.
 
Craig Dobbson
steward
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the water would be just so that I have enough liquid to make it possible to stir.  I think that with that volume of apples, it would need to be stirred daily to prevent it from going bad.   Without oxygen being mixed in, I think the mash would become toxic or that it might heat up and spoil the vinegaring process.   My goal would be to have a giant vat of apple mash and vinegar to supplement the 45 chickens that I have right now.

I just got in from today's apples pick up.   15 gallons of drops from one tree.  

The chickens eat some fresh, but it's just too much for them.  Leaving the apples on the ground tends to bring bugs and disease to the trees, so that's why I'm even bothering to pick them up in the first place.  I suppose I could also compost them.  



 
pollinator
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I remember seeing a wildlife documenty about elephants and monkeys getting drunk on figs they behaved pretty much like humans do , walked into trees, fell about laughing, got hungover
From this I conclude it's not the best idea
David
 
Craig Dobbson
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David Livingston wrote:I remember seeing a wildlife documenty about elephants and monkeys getting drunk on figs they behaved pretty much like humans do , walked into trees, fell about laughing, got hungover
From this I conclude it's not the best idea
David



I think I've seen that one.  It's amazing that so many animals partake in fermented fruit and other psychoactive organisms.  It would seem to be quite a risk to be drunk in the wild, but maybe not if you're an elephant.   But how many times have we heard about using a beer trap for slugs and wasps?  They fall for it every time.    It's an interesting side topic for sure.
I was hoping that I could get the whole thing turned into vinegar which would be a lot better for them than the alcohol.  My understanding is that birds don't tolerate alcohol like mammals do.  My end goal would be a huge batch of apple vinegar and mash (free of alcohol) to add in with their other rations during the winter when natural living things are scarce (non-existent).  

worst case scenario...   Compost I guess.
 
David Livingston
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I dry my apples and pear hopefully next year cider and vinegar
David
 
Craig Dobbson
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I wish I had the ability to ferment and then vinegar all of the things I want to try.  I find it a lot like charcuterie: simple to do, impossible to perfect and so addictive that I can't stop thinking about all of the possibilities.  Plus ,it's a long and patient process that it makes me appreciate time and quietness.  
 
Craig Dobbson
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I'd love to try making vinegar from:

wild rose petals
wild blueberries
raspberries
blackberries
apple blossoms
cherries
squash flowers
pea flowers

and a ton of other stuff


Ha!
 
steward
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Check out this thread on apple cider vinegar. Note that apples do need to be minced or roughly chopped.

https://permies.com/t/14491/kitchen/Homemade-vinegar
 
Craig Dobbson
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so I have a giant plastic trash can filled to the top with mashed apples.  It's bubbling away like crazy and actually smells pretty good.  if it weren't for all of the dead hornets and wasps in there, I might be tempted to taste it.  Not really though.  I've been able to add apples to the can as they ferment into mush and "cook down".  I set up a couple of home made wasp traps on top of the can to keep them under control.  I don't mind yellow jackets so much as I mind the white faced hornets.  I'm catching a couple dozen a day now.  

So far, I guess it's going as planned.   The only thing I didn't plan for was the fact that my guard dog will happily attack and kill hornets as well.  He snaps them out of the air then drops them on the ground and stomps them.  Of course he eats them afterward.  He seems to love them and doesn't look like he's even getting stung.  He's pretty crafty.  

I'm still getting way too many apples to deal with.  I'm thinking I might need a few more trash cans.  
 
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