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?
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?
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 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
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 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.
(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:
SIZE: 1 TBS
| THIAMIN (B1)
PANTOTHENIC ACID (B5)
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?
- Don’t rely only on pumpkin seeds for deworming your chickens
- Don’t give your chickens pumpkin pie or pumpkin puree that contains sugar and spices. Don’t give salted pumpkin seeds to chickens.
- Skin, flesh, guts and leaves are all safe for chickens to eat. They can be served raw, baked or boiled.
- 1 TBS per day of raw, baked or boiled pumpkin seeds or flesh is the serving size.
- 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!”