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Poultry and Livestock: Ok to feed pumpkins to chickens?

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AnnieBBB

(Zone 5b)

August 31, 2010
6:38 AM

Post #8072317

It's almost that time of year when pumpkins will be sold on every farm stand. Would it be ok to cut them in half and feed, seed inards and all, to the chickens? Pumpkin is a good source of beta-carotene and they keep well in a cool dry place. I was thinking it would be a good food toy in November & December when the weather is bad and would give hours of entertainment. Do you think the seeds are too big for chickens to digest?

A pic of my cats checking out the monster EE egg LOL

Thanks!

Annie

Thumbnail by AnnieBBB
Click the image for an enlarged view.

porkpal
Richmond, TX

August 31, 2010
7:11 AM

Post #8072369

I grow a few pumpkins and often feed them to the chickens. They love them, and seem to digest everything just fine.
AnnieBBB

(Zone 5b)

August 31, 2010
8:50 AM

Post #8072542

Great, thanks! The tomatoes are almost gone and so is the zucchini so they need a good food to play with. Pumpkins can be easily stored for a while so I was hoping it would be ok to feed it to them.

Also, I know it's been hot lately, 90's during the day, 60's at night, but do you think getting a total of 6, maybe 7 eggs a day is ok for now? There are 10 EE'ers, 2 BO's that are 5 1//2 months old. Does that number seem low?

I dont' count the Silkie, she lays, maybe, once a week, the 2 Welsummers aren't old enough to lay yet.
porkpal
Richmond, TX

August 31, 2010
11:23 AM

Post #8072797

I'm getting about 50% production now too and thought it rather poor. However I may have found part of the reason last night: there was a small rat snake in one of the nest boxes who had recently swallowed an egg. He couldn't fit back out through the mesh due to the egg-bulge and was reluctant to leave even when I dumped him out. I wish I had a picture!
Actually I blame the heat for the reduced laying. Our days have been high 90's with 80 at night.
green04735
Bridgewater, ME

August 31, 2010
12:23 PM

Post #8072911

Pumpkin seeds are great for taking care of the worms in your chickens if they have any.I learned that last year on here,and they love pumkins,its a natural wormer from what I have read on here
AnnieBBB

(Zone 5b)

August 31, 2010
2:05 PM

Post #8073122

Ugh, hope I never see a snake in the coop! We're lucky in that they aren't really a problem here. I'm hoping it's just the heat, it's been an endless summer of 90's and no rain. It's supposed to cool off for a few days this weekend, we'll see if that makes a difference.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 31, 2010
3:46 PM

Post #8073297

We've got black snakes in our barn. There is chicken wire bundled up and stuffed in the
holes but they do get in occasionally. Got my chicks last year!

Would summer squash seeds be good dewormer too? I'd never heard that about
pumpkin seeds before. My crew love fruits and squash. I plant melons just for the
hens some years.

My new hens (5mo old) are not laying their eggs in the barn. I suspect they are laying
outdoors - they roam my place during the day. Doing a good job weeding in some of
my beds even. :-)

Tam
Tam
AnnieBBB

(Zone 5b)

August 31, 2010
7:38 PM

Post #8073725

Snakes freak me out!!!! Squash keeps for a long time so that's a good idea, my chickens will thank you for that suggestion LOL

I bring a heavy duty pellet gun to the coop in the morning and evening, just in case there is something lurking. We also set mouse & rat traps outside around the coop even though we've never seen any and haven't caught anything in them either.Before I let the chickens out I take up the traps and put them in a bucket until they are locked up again at night. It's probably just a matter of time until we do catch something. I'm probably more worried about my Girl's catching a disease from wild birds than anything else. We usually feed the birds in the winter but won't this year.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

September 1, 2010
6:08 AM

Post #8074212

We had mice in one of the stalls the chickens roost in at night a few years ago. I was going to pitchfork them out when I exposed their nest. One of my hens swooped in and grabbed a mouse, pounded it a few times and then ate it! It was so fast. I decided it probably wasn't a good idea for them to eat mice but it was a surprise that they found it such a treat!

Tam
Catscan
Lodi
United States

September 1, 2010
7:10 AM

Post #8074328

Buckeyes are famous for eating mice...I think it is okay for them to. They are omnivores and eat a lot of insects and frogs if they can catch them.

But it is disturbing:0)
green04735
Bridgewater, ME

September 1, 2010
9:10 AM

Post #8074530

One of my young buff orpingtons caught a mouse yesterday in the run and it didn`t stand a chance,everyone wanted it

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

September 1, 2010
4:54 PM

Post #8075282

I think it was a buff orpington who got the mouse in our barn too.

Tam

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

September 2, 2010
9:45 AM

Post #8076475

Annie, what does the 10 EE'ers stand for? Is that 10 Easter Eggers? You don't have any of the Red Star Sex links do you?
AnnieBBB

(Zone 5b)

September 2, 2010
6:13 PM

Post #8077289

Yes, EE is Easter Egger. I have 10 of them. I don't have any red sex links but after reading all the great suggestions you got I'm thinking of getting some, as chicks, in the spring. My hope is that I'll have a Broody to give them to.

I was really stuck on getting a few Black Copper Marans but after reading that the color washes off the egg and/or the nesting box bedding can leave marks on it, I changed my mind. I have two Welsummers that aren't old enough to lay yet, and have read the same thing about them. So, I'm going to go with 4 or 5 of the sex links instead. I really only want more large brown eggs, and lots of them, so the sex link would be the way to go. Too bad there are so many different breeds of chickens, I want them all!

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

September 2, 2010
6:24 PM

Post #8077317

Well, at least you have chickens. I don't know that I want them all but I want them LOL! Black Copper Marans and Welsummers are both breeds that I am seriously looking into. But those Red Stars are a deffinate number one on my want list. They just sound like exactly what I think is perfect in a chicken. But the colored eggs on the EE still sound good to me too.
AnnieBBB

(Zone 5b)

September 2, 2010
6:45 PM

Post #8077358

I'm too OCD to have marks and scratches on the dark egg color LOL.

Why not get one EE, one Olive Egger, one Copper Maran, one Welsummer and one red star. Every day when you collect the eggs you'll know for sure which chicken laid the egg or which one was a slacker!

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

September 2, 2010
6:58 PM

Post #8077378

I want to get a batch of different ones. Not so easy to get that grouping one of each for a small flock. I will work on it LOL! No housing here, not nothing so it all must wait. Plus I still don't feel I have learned enough to start off.

I don't really that much mind the idea of marks on the eggs. I mean I would rather they be perfect but I love the color so could overlook the marks.
Catscan
Lodi
United States

September 2, 2010
7:38 PM

Post #8077434

The eggs really don't scratch that easily, except when they are first laid and not dry. Mostly they don't have any scratches and some have speckles which are charming.
AnnieBBB

(Zone 5b)

September 2, 2010
8:17 PM

Post #8077489

Aw Catscan, I had just made up my mind that I could do without BCM's and you had to go and say that! They're back on my list LOL Do you know anything about Welsummer eggs? I'm guessing since they aren't as dark maybe the makes won't show as much? There are so many different breeds fo chickens I want! Giant jersey's are on my list as well, I love how big they are and their temperament too. Docile and friendly is what I like.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

September 2, 2010
8:23 PM

Post #8077497

Thats good to know. So basicly let the eggs dry before messing with them :-))
AnnieBBB

(Zone 5b)

September 2, 2010
8:25 PM

Post #8077504

yeah, if you can resist grabbing it to ohhh and awww over it LOL

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

September 2, 2010
8:32 PM

Post #8077519

Yes, will not be able to eat them because they are too pretty to eat LOL!
tamberlin
Framingham, MA
(Zone 6a)

September 9, 2010
7:28 AM

Post #8088807

We have 4 Easter eggers and each one is laying a different colored egg. We know who lays what and what day. I suppose if I was really organized and I could chart them and see what the actual production is per chicken. We have 2 that are pretty reliable every day layers and a the other two tend to do ever other day. I'm going to get them a pumpkin at the Farmer's market today and see what they do with it.

This morning we had a pile up at the nesting box (there are 2, but they all prefer the bigger one). Two chickens on top of each other and one in line. The fourth chicken is bitching her head off that she's got no one for company!
AnnieBBB

(Zone 5b)

September 9, 2010
8:05 AM

Post #8088859

Can't wait to hear how your chickens like the pumpkin! There should be pumpkins on the farm stands this weekend, I'm getting one for my girl's too. It's so fun to feed them, they appreciate everything and talk nonstop to me about it.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

September 9, 2010
8:34 AM

Post #8088912

When you feed bigger things like pumpkin or squash do you have to cut it up in small pieces for them? I get a big kick out of the chickens talking about their snacks idea :-))
porkpal
Richmond, TX

September 9, 2010
9:47 AM

Post #8089051

I usually just throw the pumpkin, watermelon, etc. high into the air and let the impact of the landing take care if things. (Be sure the area is clear of chickens first, of course.)
CajuninKy
Biggs, KY
(Zone 6a)

September 11, 2010
11:39 AM

Post #8093059

I had heard the pumpkin seeds act as a wormer. I'll collect some to store for winter use. My chickens eat most everything. After we sent the pigs to slaughter I wondered what we'd do with all the scraps but the chickens eat everything we were feeding to the pigs, which was everything. LOL

What breed is an olive egger. I'd like that for sure.
Catscan
Lodi
United States

September 11, 2010
12:04 PM

Post #8093100

Olive eggers are not a "breed" per se...they are any cross between a blue egg laying bird and a dark brown laying breed. So Araucana X Cuckoo Marans or Ameraucana X Welsummer etc. etc.
AnnieBBB

(Zone 5b)

September 11, 2010
1:30 PM

Post #8093221

Yesterday I bought 2 of the small pumpkin pie ones for my Girl's. I was so excited to feed it to them thinking they would gobble it up. They picked the seeds out, without frenzy, not only ignored the rest but looked at it like it was an orange alien. Brats! I'm hoping to find some winter squash type veggie they'll like that will keep for a while so they can have healthy snacks during the winter months. Oh well.
porkpal
Richmond, TX

September 11, 2010
2:21 PM

Post #8093281

They may decide pumpkin looks pretty good in winter when treats are not so abundant.
AnnieBBB

(Zone 5b)

September 11, 2010
4:21 PM

Post #8093448

PP, I sure hope so. Fresh veggies in the winter are going to be expensive. I've heard that dried cranberries, dates, and nuts are good for them too, do you know if that's true? Those items are usually on sale during the Christmas baking season. I talked to our local grocery store about buying fruits and veggies when the sale date is past, but they can't do that. However, they did tell me the days I could dumpster dive for them and warned me I'd have competition LOL.
Gwendalou
Langley, WA
(Zone 7b)

September 16, 2010
4:13 PM

Post #8102911

My chickens loved pumpkin last year. My dogs adore it. It's really good for dogs that need to be on a diet. They can eat a lot and feel full but it's not really fattening for them.
porkpal
Richmond, TX

September 16, 2010
8:47 PM

Post #8103444

You cook it for the dogs surely?
Gwendalou
Langley, WA
(Zone 7b)

September 16, 2010
8:52 PM

Post #8103450

No, I don't. They love it raw. They do like it cooked too.
porkpal
Richmond, TX

September 16, 2010
9:17 PM

Post #8103477

In that case I'd better guard my vegetable garden! (I have both dogs and pumpkins.)
tamberlin
Framingham, MA
(Zone 6a)

September 17, 2010
5:58 AM

Post #8103774

My chickens did not eat the pumpkin. Do they prefer sugar pumpkins or jack o'lantern type pumpkins? I'll buy a few and keep them in the garage for later inthe winter anyway...
Gwendalou
Langley, WA
(Zone 7b)

September 17, 2010
6:37 AM

Post #8103843

Did you cut it open for them?

Porkpal, mine won't eat a pumpkin just sitting around uncut but if it's cut open and given to them, they'll eat it up. So pumpkins in your garden should be safe!
porkpal
Richmond, TX

September 17, 2010
6:48 AM

Post #8103858

I don't know; the dogs chomped into a watermelon only to decide they didn't want it - at least not at the moment.
Catscan
Lodi
United States

September 17, 2010
6:53 AM

Post #8103867

My chickens almost never eat something the first time I offer it to them...they were not impressed by melons at first, now they attack them. I do cut them open. Usually one brave hen will peck at it first, then the others start.

With some of the younger birds it can take a few days. They say a mother hen usually shows her chicks what to eat and that hand raised chicks are usually more cautious about eating new things.
Gwendalou
Langley, WA
(Zone 7b)

September 17, 2010
7:03 AM

Post #8103876

Mine are the same way, very cautious. Always wait for someone to take the first bite. Then the rest run over and they fight over it. LOL They are so funny.
Danasplants
Mulberry, FL

September 17, 2010
7:14 AM

Post #8103889

Chickens are better than dogs they eat everything nothing goes to waste. I have Cochin's ,gold-laced wyndottes, leghorns, Americana's, cuckoo marans welsummers, also have guineas there neat too great for bugs and snakes

Thumbnail by Danasplants
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Gwendalou
Langley, WA
(Zone 7b)

September 17, 2010
7:29 AM

Post #8103922

Dana, clearly you have not met my dogs yet.
Danasplants
Mulberry, FL

September 17, 2010
8:53 AM

Post #8104073

Lol I have dogs too you have to love the feathered friends interesting to watch I love the chicks if a hen goes broody here I let her raise her babies. We are over run here with hawks I used to let mine run the property scrach around but certain times of the year they are in there pens.

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

September 17, 2010
12:07 PM

Post #8104377

My flock is definitely spoiled. They were all over tomatoes and summer squash the first month or two but now hardly give either a peck. They even left watermelon untouched (so far) today. If I throw it to the crowed, they will fight over pear or apple cores/peels. I figure they must have a sweet tooth.

Tam
Danasplants
Mulberry, FL

September 17, 2010
3:04 PM

Post #8104626

Mine want that anything but there regular feed when I let them out they put a hurting on my plants digging and my worms they love to dig!

Tammy

Tammy
Barto, PA
(Zone 6b)

September 17, 2010
4:16 PM

Post #8104758

LOL
AnnieBBB

(Zone 5b)

September 17, 2010
8:13 PM

Post #8105168

Mine eventually ate the pumpkin, but not in their usual Hoover Vac style. There is another small pumpkin left but I'll wait a while to feed it to them. They're still eating tomatoes and zucchini from the garden, those will be gone very soon.

newyorkrita

newyorkrita
North Shore of L. I., NY
(Zone 6b)

September 17, 2010
9:13 PM

Post #8105252

I thought of all you chicken owners and the veggies for chickens today as I was pulling up and bagging my tomato plants as they are pretty much done for. But many had lots of green tomatoes that would not have time to get ripe. I thought those green tomatoes might be good chicken food.
AnnieBBB

(Zone 5b)

September 18, 2010
5:49 AM

Post #8105554

Well, next year you won't be bagging any green tomatoes!

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