Can Chickens Eat Pumpkins?

Every Halloween in the USA, about 1.3 BILLION pounds of pumpkins end up in the landfill each year, according to the US Department of Energy.

That can’t be right, 1.3 billion pounds?  Yup. Every year in the US, about 2 billion pounds of pumpkins are grown, and 1.3 billion pounds of those delicious pumpkins end up in the landfill. What a waste!

As backyard chicken keepers, we can help remedy this!

 

Can chickens eat pumpkins?

Yes! Pumpkins are a great treat for chickens.

That’s right, a treat. Fed in moderation, your flock will love these delicious pumpkin treats and the health benefits they provide! 

Pumpkins provide:

Vitamin A

Helpful for growth, disease resistance, vision, and reproductive health.

Vitamin E

Helpful for balancing chickens’ immune systems.

Potassium

Critical for chick development and helps chickens recover from heat exhaustion.

Zinc

Promotes healthy skin and feather development (this is found in the membrane under the seed shell, so feed seeds whole!).

Carotene

Darkens egg yolk.

Ways to prepare pumpkin treates for your flock: 

Warning: Please do not feed moldy, old contaminated jack-o-lantern pumpins to your chickens. These should be composted.

Smash the pumpkin and give it to your flock raw.

This is a great boredom buster throughout the day, especailly if your flock is stuck inside becasue of bad weather.

 

Make a pumpin purée.

Feed raw or add oats and grains for a different consistency!

Bonus points if you put it in a brain mold and freeze it for a spooky Halloween treat.

Make Cookies.

We adapted this recipe from Running on Real Food for Healthy Pumpkin Oat Cookies for the chickens by using half the recommended sweetener and using honey instead of maple syrup.

To help eliminate pumpkin waste from landfills, make sure to compost whatever your chickens do not eat. 

Leave your best pumpkin recipe for chickens in the comments!

Happy Halloween! 🎃

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