Biting into a crunchy apple is immensely satisfying and both humans and animals love this nutritious fruit. While we know apples are safe for humans to eat, which animals can eat apples and which ones should avoid them?
What animals eat apples: Many animals eat apples, including those in the wild and those kept as pets. In the wild, large animals such as bears and deer will happily come back to apple trees. Not only will they eat the fallen, windfall apples, but they will also reach up and eat apples right off the tree. As for pets, rodents such as rats, guinea pigs, and hamsters love small chunks of apples. On a farm, rabbits and pigs see apples as a tasty treat. With smaller animals, you do need to be careful of apple seeds as they can be poisonous in large quantities. Always cut up the apples and remove the core. Finally, remember that apples have a lot of natural sugars so they should be considered as a treat and not the main part of an animal’s diet.
Are apples good for animals?
Apples are rich in many nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin K and vitamin B5. Furthermore, apples are a great source of fiber.
In the fall, apples are abundant and very cheap to purchase. You can even find free windfall apples which have fallen from the tree but are still edible for animals.
Is it safe to feed apples to pet animals?
Apples are safe to feed to pet animals but you should remove the seeds. While small amounts of seeds are not too dangerous, they do contain amygdalin. Once this enters your digestive system, it can turn into the very poisonous hydrogen cyanide.
As humans, we naturally don’t eat the core and seeds of apples, but animals are not able to show such restraint.
Especially for smaller animals, be sure to remove the core before feeding them apples. Larger animals, such as horses, can eat more apple seeds before suffering any dangerous effects.
What Animals Eat Apples?
Birds are foragers and rely on what is around them to eat. This includes apples, which are particularly plentiful in the fall.
Birds enjoy many different types of apples but are not discriminatory with their tastes. They are happy to eat fallen apples and do not care about bruises or misshapen fruit.
One advantage of birds eating apples is that they will naturally spread the seeds around as they fly. This may be one of the reasons you have an apple tree mysteriously sprouting in your backyard.
Having a pet rodent can be a fun experience for children as animals such as hamsters, rats, and guinea pigs are readily available. While these animals need a complete diet, including animal pellets and sometimes hay, they can also have the occasional treat.
Cut up small pieces of apple for your pets and you can even hand-feed them over time. Just remember that their tiny bodies do not need a lot of apples as it has plenty of natural sugars that can be harmful in large doses,
While we normally think of rabbits eating carrots, the truth is they will happily munch on anything that is nice and crunchy. Whether in the wild or as a pet, rabbits love the sweet texture of apples.
If you have an apple tree in your yard, you may get to see rabbits in the wild come by and munch on the fallen fruit. Or, if you have a pet rabbit, you can give apples as a reward as you train it.
When given the chance, pigs will eat just about anything although you should take pains to provide your pigs with a well-balanced diet. In addition to whole grains, pigs should be given fresh greens and small amounts of fruit.
Pigs love apples but they will also eat other fruit including watermelon and grapes. Give them variety and they will be especially happy.
If you live in a semi-rural area, there is a good chance you will see a deer at some point. These herbivores are constantly on the move, always looking for their next tasty snack.
Deer are also very intelligent and if they find an area with a good source of food, they will return to it. Not only will deer eat fallen apples on the ground but their tall stature means they can reach many lower branches.
There’s not much you can do if you have deer in your area and a nice, tasty apple tree. If you’re worried about sharing, it’s best to plant fruit trees in your backyard, where a fence can act as a barrier.
For the most part, bears try to avoid humans but if there is not enough food in the forest, they can quickly find their way into populated areas. One of their favorite treats is apples.
If you see a bear eating your apples, it’s best to just leave it alone. You may try to scare it off from the inside of your home but don’t confront the bear as its large bulk can lead to dire consequences.
If you want to prevent bears from getting too close, harvest your apples as soon as they are ready and clean up any fallen fruit.
Why shouldn’t I feed apples regularly to animals?
Apart from the danger that apple seeds pose, there is another reason why apples should not be a regular part of your pet animal’s diet. This is because the fruit has a lot of natural sugars.
Too much sugar, even from a natural source is not good for an animal. If you do want to give your pet apples, give them small amounts and only as an addition to a healthy, balanced diet.
There are many animals, both in the wild and in the home, that love to eat apples. Full of nutrition and with a crunchy texture, there’s no wonder why so many animals get excited when they get to eat apples.