Feeding Pumpkin to Chickens And A Chicken Jack-O-Lantern

Photo by Photo by Infrogmation
October is fall harvest time and pumpkins play a big role in celebrating the season.  Whether from your own garden, or from the farmers market, pumpkins are in abundance for the next two months.  They show up at harvest festivals, as Halloween jack-o-lanterns and, of course as the star ingredient of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie.

Chickens - Frugal Eaters of Pumpkin Leftovers

Whatever your reason for cutting open a pumpkin this season, you may find that there are parts of the pumpkin that you have no use for -- specifically, the guts of the pumpkin that includes the seeds and the stringy parts.

While these may not be choice for us humans, chickens really enjoy them.  When you open up your pumpkin pull out the pumpkin seeds and guts and give them to your chickens.  They love them and it's a frugal way to give them a treat.

How about Leftover Jack-O-Lanterns?

Naturally, chickens will enjoy the choicer parts of the pumpkin that we humans relish.  You can certainly feed pumpkin to your chickens.  However, you need to be careful when feeding a used jack-o-lantern to your flock.

Pumpkins mold very quickly once cut open.  The process is made worse when left outside for several days and after a lit candle has been inside the pumpkin warming it up for all sorts of wind borne mold and bacteria.

If you cut your pumpkin the day or two before Halloween, it's probably safe to give the left over jack-o-lantern to your flock.  If the pumpkin has been sitting there for several days, it's more of a risk. Even if you don't see visible signs of mold, it doesn't mean that bacteria and mold aren't present in harmful quantities.

We recommend giving your flock pumpkin carved within 72 hours and removing any remaining pumpkins your flock hasn't eaten the following day.

Free Chicken Jack-O-Lantern Template

Over the years, we've carved jack-o-lanterns with the traditional toothy grin as well as ones that showing spiders, zombies, and tombstones and a dragon.

If you would like to make a non-traditional jack-o-lantern in the shape of a hen (see below), we're created a free down loadable template you can use to trace onto your pumpkin.  The template link and instructions are below.

Lit Chicken Jack-O-Lantern

Here's what you need to do:
  1. Download the template - Chicken Jack-O-Lantern Template
  2. Print it out on your printer.
  3. Tape the template to your pumpkin.
  4. Draw the outline of the chicken with ball point pen, pressing hard to transfer the lines into the skin of the pumpkin.
  5. Remove the template and cut out the parts that are shown in black on the template.
Voila! A chicken jack-o-lantern

Here are some other designs we've done over the years.  Happy Halloween to all from ChickenWaterer.com


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