Have you ever thought about whether chickens can eat pumpkins? Fall time is in the air, and the pumpkin patches are open. The chickens will be so excited to get a special treat this season! With extra nutrition and added fun, let’s check out the reasons for feeding pumpkin to chickens.
Chickens love snacking on pumpkins and their seeds. The best part is that it’s a snack that will last for days! What I like to do is to cut the pumpkin in half to help get it started for the chickens. Then, I give the whole pumpkin to the chickens. They might look at it funny at first, but once they get curious enough about it they will go to town.
1. Extra Nutrients – Feeding Pumpkin to Chickens
Pumpkins are a great source of Vitamin A. They also have many other vitamins and minerals. Vitamin A is an essential vitamin for chickens. A Vitamin A deficiency could cause blood spots in eggs, symptoms of an upper respiratory illness, and may even cause scales that resemble the horrid fowl pox. Pumpkins also contain a little bit of Vitamin B and C, which can help promote growth, relieve stress, and with hatching chicks.
2. Entertainment – Feeding Pumpkin to Chickens
It’s a lot of fun for us crazy chicken ladies & guys to watch them scarf it all down. When I first gave the babies (hatched last spring) the pumpkin they seriously thought it must be an alien. What is this weird thing? Oh wait…this weird thing is delicious! Mmm!
Natural wormer – Not really
You’ve probably already heard about pumpkin seeds being a very useful way to get rid of worms in your chickens. Or is it? I’ve heard this saying so many times, I started to believe it! Supposedly, not only pumpkin but other squash varieties, cucumbers, and cantaloupes have an amino acid called cucurbitacin which paralyzes the worms, and then are deposited in the waste. So why doesn’t this actually work? Well, The Chicken Chick has the answer! It looks like she’s done her research, and what she says makes perfect sense. Basically, a chicken wouldn’t be able to consume enough pumpkin seeds to warrant enough cucurbitacin concentration in their system to kill the worms or parasites.
3. Busy Work – Feeding Pumpkin to Chickens
So I keep some of my chickens separated. The babies that hatched last spring, are not free ranging (yet). Staying cooped up, they sometimes get bored. They peck each other pull out feathers, eat them, and so on. I know it’s ridiculous, eating feathers? Geesh, guys GET IT TOGETHER! I love giving them something else to focus on. Sometime I will hang up a head of lettuce in the coop, or other vegetables to give them something to focus on other than each other. Since they aren’t out foraging for bugs most of the day, pumpkins are good busy work.
Keep in mind that you may want to remove the pumpkin at night, so it doesn’t attract more predators. I don’t know about you, but I don’t really need anymore predators at the coop at night! I have a couple of trash bandits who are trying their best to get in every night. They have devastated our chicken food supplies, and now they have to be stored in a safer area, where they can’t get into them!
Another thing to keep in mind is to watch for spoilage. If the pumpkin shows signs of spoilage it’s time to throw it in the compost. Signs of spoilage includes mushy, moldy, and yucky odors.
Good luck, and I hope your chickens love pumpkins as much as my chickens do!
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