5 Important Safety Tips-Can Chickens Eat Halloween Pumpkins?

CAN CHICKENS EAT PUMPKIN

Instead of tossing your jack-o’-lantern pumpkins into the garbage after Halloween, save them for your chickens! Pumpkin can be very healthy for your flock, as long as you follow a few safety tips to ensure their health, safety and well-being.

Not only can serving pumpkin provide health benefits, it can also provide hours of entertainment for your chickens!

5 Important Safety Tips-Can Chickens Eat Halloween Pumpkins?

KEEP-PUMPKIN-GUTS-AND-SEEDS
PUMPKIN SEEDS ARE COATED WITH CUCURBITACIN, A SUBSTANCE THAT WILL PARALYZE WORMS IN A CHICKENS GUT.

1. Using Pumpkin Seeds as a Natural Chicken Dewormer

It hasn’t been proven that pumpkin seeds alone can deworm a chicken, but it can help keep the worm population down.

Pumpkin seeds are coated with a substance called cucurbitacin. When worms come into contact with this, they become paralyzed and are unable to multiply.

I would say it is best to think as pumpkin seeds as a way of worm prevention, but not to rely on using them as a sole treatment for worms once your flock is infested.

How do You Use Pumpkin as a Chicken Dewormer?

WORMS-IN-CHICKEN-POOP
WORMS IN CHICKEN POOP

Save the raw seeds from your fall pumpkins and serve up to 1 TBS of seeds per chicken daily, until they are all consumed. This hasn’t been proven as an effective dewormer, but it can help to keep the worm population under control.

If your flock is already infested with worms, it is best to use a different form of deworming. I have always used apple cider vinegar in my chickens water. For more details on how to use ACV for a dewormer, check out my article below:

2. Types of Pumpkin to Avoid Feeding to Your Chickens

Can My Chickens Eat Canned Pumpkin Puree?

Pumpkin puree is ok to feed to your chickens, as long as it is the puree without the added sugar and spices. Pumpkin puree is sold in two forms, so read at the label.

The one that says, “Simple Pumpkin Pie Mix” has added sugar and spices. Instead, choose the can that contains only 100% pumpkin in puree form.

Can My Chickens Eat Pumpkin Pie?

It isn’t recommended to feed your chickens pumpkin pie. Not to say that they wouldn’t enjoy it, because they would, but it isn’t healthy for them. It contains a high amount of sugar and empty calories, which isn’t good for them.

CAN CHICKENS EAT PUMPKIN PIE
CAN CHICKENS EAT PUMPKIN PIE?

Can I Give My Chickens Salted Pumpkin Seeds?

Salted pumpkin seeds shouldn’t be given to your chickens. It is best to serve pumpkin seeds to your chickens either raw or roasted and unsalted.

Just like in humans, too much salt can lead to many hidden health issues such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart attack and stroke.

3. How to Safely Serve Halloween Pumpkin to Chickens

Can chickens eat Halloween pumpkin?
REMOVE ANY RESIDUAL WAX OR CANDLES FROM HALLOWEEN PUMPKINS BEFORE SERVING TO YOUR CHICKENS.

Remove any Residual Wax or Candles

This may seem obvious, but you should remove any candles and residual wax that may have spilled inside your halloween pumpkin.

Chickens are attracted to shiny and bright things and may be inclined to eat any wax droppings, especially if it is bright colored.

Can Chickens Eat Raw Pumpkin Seeds?

Yes, chickens can eat raw pumpkin seeds! Feeding chickens raw pumpkin seeds is a great way to keep worms from getting out of hand in your chickens gut.

CAN CHICKENS EAT PUMPKIN SEEDS?
CAN CHICKENS EAT PUMPKIN SEEDS?

Can Chickens Eat Pumpkin Guts?

Not only can chickens eat the pumpkin guts, but it is healthy for them and they have a fun time doing it too!

I always enjoy watching my flock run around with pumpkin guts hanging out of their beak while another flock mate chases them around, hoping to steal it from them!

Can Chickens Eat Cooked Pumpkin?

Yes, chickens can eat cooked pumpkin. Just make sure you completely cool the pumpkin before serving it to them. Save the pumpkin seeds and guts. These are very healthy to serve to your chickens too!

  • Baking Pumpkin: My favorite way to serve cooked pumpkin to my flock is by cutting it half and baking it in the oven at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes. Keep it in there until you can pierce it with a fork easily.
  • Boiling Pumpkin: Another simple way of serving cooked pumpkin is to boil it. This can be done by removing the guts and seeds(set them aside to serve later). Slice the pumpkin into chunks and let them boil for about 20-25 minutes or until your desired tenderness.

Can Chickens Eat Pumpkin Raw?

Yes, chickens can eat raw pumpkin. Serving your flock raw pumpkin is the easiest way to serve it to them and they can eat each and every part of it; skin, flesh and guts! Pumpkin leaves are

The day after Halloween, I like to give my chickens my jack-o-lanterns. I remove the candles and make sure there isn’t any residual wax in there before placing it into the middle of the chicken coop.

I find that my new chickens are often a little timid when I first place it in there. But there is always one brave one that takes the first nibble. Then they all start to peck away at it.

It is absolutely hilarious to watch them grab some of the chicken guts and run around while another one chases them!

4. How Much Pumpkin Can I Feed My Chickens?

Pumpkin is considered a healthy treat for chickens and should be given in moderation after they have consumed their regular feed. Whether you serve pumpkin seeds, guts or the flesh, the serving size is no more than 1 TBS daily.

Nutritional Contents of Pumpkin Seeds and Flesh

When feeding pumpkin seeds to chickens, keep in mind that the recommended serving size is up to 1 TBS of pumpkin seeds daily. This comes out to about 20-25 average size pumpkin seeds.

PUMPKIN SEEDS-
NUTRITIONAL
CONTENT
(SERVING SIZE: 1 TBS)
CALORIES: 45 CALORIES
PROTEIN: 2.5 GRAMS
FAT: 4 GRAMS
CARBOHYDRATES: 0.75 GRAMS
FIBER: 0.5 GRAMS

Feeding Pumpkin Flesh to Chickens- Serving Size 1 TBS

Pumpkin is a very nutritious treat to give to your chickens! 1 TBS of pumpkin only has about 2 calories, but is loaded with many beneficial vitamins and minerals.

While pumpkin is very nutritious for chickens, it shouldn’t take the place of their nutritionally balanced chicken feed. Serve it to them after they have consumed their regular feed first.

Vitamins in 1 TBS of Pumpkin Flesh:

VITAMINS IN
PUMPKIN FLESH
SERVING
SIZE: 1 TBS
VITAMIN A30.89 mcg
THIAMIN (B1)
RIBOFLAVIN (B2)
NIACIN (B3)
PANTOTHENIC ACID (B5)
PYRIDOXINE (B6)

FOLATE (B9)

3.625 mcg
8 mcg
43.5 mcg
21.625 mcg
4.437 mcg
1.16 mcg
VITAMIN C650 mcg
VITAMIN E76.875 mcg
VITAMINS IN 1 TBS PUMPKIN FLESH

Minerals in 1 TBS Pumpkin Flesh

MINERALS IN
PUMPKIN FLESH
SERVING SIZE
1 TBS
CALCIUM (Ca)1522 mcg
COPPER (Cu)9.375 mcg
IRON (Fe)58.125 mcg
MAGNESIUM (Mg)870 mcg
MANGANESE (Mn)9.063 mcg
PHOSPHORUS (P)3190 mcg
POTASSIUM (K)24650 mcg
SELENIUM (Se)21.875 mcg
SODIUM (Na)72.5 mcg
ZINC (Zn)23.125
MINERALS IN 1 TBS PUMPKIN FLESH

Can Chickens Eat Too Much Pumpkin?

Anything more than about 1 TBS of pumpkin per day is considered too much and can lead to health problems. An unbalanced diet can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, heart attack and even increased likelihood of developing bumblefoot due to increased weight.

So, yes, even though it is nutritious for chickens, it is best limit the serving size to 1 TBS.

5. Clean Up Any Uneaten Pumpkin at the End of the Day

In order to prevent any mice, raccoons and other rodents from being attracted to your chicken coop, clean up any uneaten pumpkin at the end of each day. This goes the same with all chicken feed and water. The less that you have inside of a chicken coop to attract chicken predators, the better!

For more helpful tips to protect your pets during Halloween, visit Pet MD.

CONCLUSION: 5 Important Safety Tips-Can Chickens Eat Halloween Pumpkins?

  1. Don’t rely only on pumpkin seeds for deworming your chickens
  2. Don’t give your chickens pumpkin pie or pumpkin puree that contains sugar and spices. Don’t give salted pumpkin seeds to chickens.
  3. Skin, flesh, guts and leaves are all safe for chickens to eat. They can be served raw, baked or boiled.
  4. 1 TBS per day of raw, baked or boiled pumpkin seeds or flesh is the serving size.
  5. To avoid attracting chicken predators, clean up any uneaten pumpkin at the end of the day.

Instead of tossing your Halloween pumpkins into the garbage, save them for your chickens!

Giving your flock your carved pumpkins after the holiday has passed is truly an example of “one man’s trash is another’s treasure!”


Backyard Chickens Mama - About Me - Get your chickens laying more eggs. Basket full of eggs with 3 hens.

About the Author

Jenny is a chicken enthusiast and has raised a variety of different breeds of chickens in her Northern California backyard for the past 23 years. She enjoys using incubators to incubate and hatch fertile chicken eggs so she can raise baby chicks from day 1. Some of her favorites include Crested Cream Legbars, Marans, Silkies, Orpingtons and Olive Eggers. These breeds make a beautiful basket of farm fresh eggs! Both she and her husband built their own chicken coop and she and her Dad built her current chick brooder. Jenny likes to share tips and tricks that she has learned over the years so others can raise happy, healthy and productive chickens too. Just last year, Jenny released a Special 9 Herb Chicken Nesting Box Blend that helps to increase hen egg production as well as keep chickens happy and healthy.

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