One of the great things about chickens is that they can, and will try to eat almost anything. Chickens are omnivores. They can consume both plant and animal-based foods. They can also eat many parts of food that we typically find ourselves discarding.
This makes them great helpers if you’re looking to cut down on food waste. Pumpkins are a food that has a lot of nutritional value, so will your chickens benefit from having them in their diet?
Chickens can eat pumpkins. In fact, it is not only a favorite treat of theirs, but it also has a huge nutritional value. Adding pumpkin to your chickens’ diet can add vitamins that are otherwise lacking in their regular chicken feed. They can also eat many parts of the pumpkin.
As with all additions to your chickens’ diet, you need to ensure that you are feeding your flock the right amount and preparing it correctly. So when it comes to pumpkins, here are a few facts that you should know.
Is it Safe for Chicken to Eat Pumpkin? Should Your Chicken Have it?
Pumpkins are one of those fruits that tend to get overlooked until the holiday season. It’s a shame because pumpkins are extremely beneficial to nutrition. Pumpkins are full of vitamins A, E, potassium, zinc, and antioxidants.
One additional great factor is that it is very low in calories. Chickens require a diet that is low in fat, otherwise, they are at risk for health issues and even death.
Chickens can safely eat pumpkin. In fact, you should add it to their diet to compensate for the lack of vitamin A that chickens typically face. The combination of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants can help your flock be healthier and produce great results for your eggs.
Vitamin A is especially good because it helps boost your chickens’ immune system. While chickens can eat pumpkin, it should not be a replacement for their regular feed. Chickens require a balanced diet. Giving your flock some variety in addition to their feed can help keep them healthy and happy.
Chickens can eat both raw and cooked pumpkins.
One way to serve pumpkin to your chickens is to simply cut it in half and let them pick it up. If you’re nearing the end of the season, you can also freeze pumpkin halves. This makes for a nutritious and engaging treat for your chickens.
What to Look Out for When Feeding Chicken with Pumpkin
As with all foods that your chickens can eat, there are still things that you need to watch out for. Proper preparation and handling will prevent your chickens from falling prey to food-borne illnesses. Food-borne illnesses will not only make your chickens sick but can also prove to be fatal for your flock.
When feeding your chickens pumpkin, moderation is important. While it is a healthy treat for your chickens, it should be considered just that, a treat. You should also remove any pumpkin remnants from your chicken coop.
Not only may they spoil, but they may also attract unwanted animal visitors.
You should also keep in mind that pumpkin is a diuretic. This means that your chickens will have more active bowel movements. Too much pumpkin can leave your flock feeling sickly and malnourished.
Can Chicken Eat Pumpkin Puree?
Pumpkin puree is a great way to eat pumpkin, without the hassle of having to cut and prepare it. There are two main types of pumpkin puree. There is a plain puree and then there is puree that has been spiced and is intended for cooking pumpkin pies.
Chickens can eat pumpkin puree, but you should only feed them the plain version. Other purees have added sugars that can be detrimental to your chickens’ health. Chickens need a diet that is low in sugar, otherwise, you put them at risk for health problems.
Some chickens do not enjoy the texture of pumpkin puree. Keep an eye on your flock. If they’re not eating it, you need to remove it from their coop before it spoils.
Can Chicken Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
If you already have chickens, you’ll know that they love food that they can peck at. They also have a unique digestion system, which makes tougher foods easy to digest for them.
If you clean out a pumpkin, either for cooking or to make a jack-o-lantern, and don’t want to keep the seeds yourself, you may wonder what to do with them.
Chickens can eat pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are the part of the pumpkin that has the highest concentration of vitamin E. This can help boost your chickens’ immune system. By boosting your chickens’ immune system, they are less likely to develop diseases.
A flock that has boosted immunity has an added layer of protection against diseases. While pumpkin seeds aren’t a cure-all, added immunity, especially in the winter months, will help your flock.
Can Chicken Eat Pumpkin Leaves?
If you’ve got free-range chickens near a garden, you probably already know that nothing is safe. Chickens are curious creatures and they’re always looking to sample something new. If you’ve got plants growing in the area, it’s important to make sure that they are safe for your chickens, they will more than likely try and sample them.
The good news is that chickens can eat pumpkin leaves. You can even chop them and add them to your chickens’ regular feed or mix it in with additional foods. The leaves of the pumpkin plant also have the added bonus of having little to no calories.
If you don’t have a compost pile, you can feed your pumpkin leaves to your chickens.
Can Chicken Eat Pumpkin Plants?
While we eat or carve pumpkins, we typically don’t touch the plant. If it gets torn up, it’s often tossed into the compost pile. Having chickens, as long as nothing has spoiled, is a great way to cut down on food waste and get rid of plants that we otherwise would discard.
Chickens can eat pumpkin plants. However, you need to keep in mind that the vines are very delicate. Growing pumpkins in the same area as your chickens will put your plants at risk. Your chickens may end up pecking the vines to the point that pumpkins never grow, or kill the plant.
The best method is to grow your pumpkin plants out of reach of your chickens. Feeding them parts of the plant and the pumpkin as you choose.
Can Chicken Eat Pumpkin Flowers?
When growing pumpkins, you’ll notice that the vines develop flowers. This is because pumpkins are a fruit. That flower is where your eventual pumpkin will grow. Like squash flowers, some people consider them a delicious addition to their meal.
Chickens can, and will, eat your pumpkin flowers. However, if you are keeping your chickens in the same area as your pumpkin plants, you should note that it’s unlikely that you’ll get pumpkins. Even pecking at the flowers can damage them to the point that they develop further.
This article was first published on November 10, 2022 by Pentagon-Pets.
When planting pumpkins, it’s a good idea to keep your chickens in a separate area.
Can Chicken Eat Pumpkin Guts?
Pumpkin guts are the stringy and gooey parts of the pumpkin that we typically discard. If you want to cut down on food waste, chickens are a great animal to have.
Chickens can eat pumpkin cuts. They can eat the whole pumpkin. Some chickens may pick around the guts to get to the areas of pumpkin that have more texture, such as the seeds and flesh, but it won’t harm them if they do eat it.
Can Chicken Eat Pumpkin Raw?
There are many foods that, when adding to your chickens’ diet, you need to double check on preparation. Just because chickens can eat a particular food, doesn’t mean that they can eat it if it is prepared in a certain way.
Chickens can eat both raw and cooked pumpkins. You can also feed your chickens raw pumpkin halves by first freezing them. This gives your chickens a more engaging experience as they can peck at it for longer.
Pentagon Pet is the owner of this article that was first published on November 10, 2022.
Just be sure to remove any uneaten pumpkin from your chicken coop. You don’t want it to spoil and cause health issues for your chickens.
This article and its contents are owned by Pentagon Pets and was first published on November 10, 2022.