A pumpkin chicken treat is no trick. Can chickens eat pumpkin? Yes. It is a healthy source of vitamins, minerals, protein, and calcium, that the chickens love, with the added benefit of an immune boost. The pumpkin is a ready made serving container, but this can be made up and served without the pumpkin shell and can be frozen to serve at any time throughout the year. A quick and easy project the chickens will adore you for making.
Though pumpkin and squash are healthy and many believe they prevent worms it is not a substitute for treating worm infestation. Studies have been conducted on the effectiveness, and there has been nothing conclusive established whether feeding pulp or seeds actually is a preventative, and definitely not a cure. If you notice worms in the chicken feces, you need to check with a veterinarian for a fecal test to determine the type of worm and effective treatment to rid the chickens of worms. Even a vet that does not treat chickens can conduct a fecal test. Can chickens eat pumpkin seeds? Yes. We feed the pumpkins and pumpkin seeds to the chickens because they are a healthy source of vitamins and minerals and because they enjoy these gourds, but never as a substitute for proven worm control.
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If you’ve been growing pumpkins or have purchased some for the holidays, it’s first good to know how to keep a pumpkin from rotting. Once you’re ready to use them or even when you’re carving jack o lanterns (minus any wax, embellishments or paints), they can be given to the chickens or cut up and frozen to give to them at any time, not just as a treat when those pumpkins are in abundance. You can also render the pumpkins by removing the flesh, puree’ and freeze for adding to warm winter treats such as scrambled eggs, cooked rice or oatmeal that you might make up to help keep them warm on those chilly mornings.
One thing to always remember is that any treats should only be given in moderation and should only be given after they have had their typical feed ration to assure your birds are getting a proper balance of nutrients. Treats are never a good substitute for proper balanced feed rations.
1 pumpkin (gutted–reserve the innards)
2 cups combined grains, seeds, chicken feed
1/8 cup molasses or honey
1/4 cup peanut butter, suet, or other nut butter
Pumpkin innards including the seeds
Crushed egg shells
1/2 tsp each: dried or fresh oregano, thyme, marjoram, sage, ginger, and garlic powder or other herbs that you know your chickens enjoy. Not all chickens enjoy the same herbs or spices.
Flower Petals: 1/2 tsp of each or single type flower (dried or fresh); Chrysanthemum, Marigold, Rose, Pansy, Dandelion, or Clover.
Suitable Grains: wheat, oats, barley (together or individual grains).
Suitable Seeds: 2 tablespoons quinoa, chia, clover, flax, and sunflower.
Mix all the ingredients together thoroughly, including the pumpkin seeds and pulp. Fill the pumpkin shell with the grain mixture. And it’s ready to serve to the chickens either in the shell or in a suet feeder.
Happy autumn to you and your flock!