The pumpkin is relatively low in calories as it is 95% water and it is high in vitamins and minerals. Beside these benefits, it also contains antioxidants. But, can chickens eat pumpkin?
Got a bit of pumpkin leftover in the fall months? Well, you may be wondering whether your chickens can chow down on that pumpkin. Let’s take a little look, shall we?
Can Chickens Eat Pumpkin?
Chickens absolutely can eat pumpkin. They tend to love it too. You may even find that your chickens get a little bit healthier when you introduce a touch of pumpkin into their diet.
This is because pumpkins are rich in all sorts of nutrients and antioxidants. As with most vegetables, it is not something that you are going to want to be feeding to your chickens all that regularly (it doesn’t contain everything that they need), but as a quick treat here and there, it certainly shouldn’t go amiss having it in their diet.
There are some people who claim that pumpkin acts as a natural dewormer for chickens. Honestly, we do not know if this is the case.
There seems to be no scientific evidence that backs up this claim. However, let’s be honest, is there really any real need for scientists to look into whether pumpkins can deworm a chicken?
We are going to say that the answer is ‘no’. If it deworms your chickens, then great. If it doesn’t, then it is still worth giving them a bit of pumpkin every now and then.
How To Serve Pumpkin To Your Chickens
Chickens can eat the pumpkin cooked or raw. This means that it is going to be fantastic to serve them if you have a few leftovers. You can also crack open a pumpkin that have freshly carved for Halloween and give the chickens the leftover pumpkin.
When we are feeding our backyard chickens a bit of pumpkin, we tend to serve them it cubed. This way we can mix it up with a few other vegetables. You are basically creating a fall salad for them.
However, if you want, you can also slice the top of the pumpkin off and allow the chickens to peck away at the insides like this.
While we are positive that your chickens are going to be more than capable of punching through the pumpkin skin with their beaks, we have seen some chickens that have been a little bit confused about what to do, so it is always best to give them a helping hand.
As we said, you shouldn’t be giving your chickens too much in the way of pumpkin. Keep it to the minimum. If you give them too much, then they will overindulge.
This means that they will not be eating the food that they are supposed to eat. This could leave them a bit less productive. This is probably the last thing you want.
Chickens can eat pumpkin but as with most fresh things that you are feeding your chickens, you will want to clean up after them the same day. While pumpkin doesn’t rot anywhere near as fast as some other vegetables, it is going to be rotting eventually.
You will want to clean it out to ensure that it is not attracting pests!
See also: Can Chickens Eat Asparagus?