Pumpkins for chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SCOUT123, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. SCOUT123

    SCOUT123 Chirping

    216
    4
    91
    Apr 25, 2014
    San Jose, CA
    I have a pie pumpkin that I want to give to my chickens. How long will the cut pumpkin stay fresh for if the chickens don't finish it in one day? (I only have two chickens)
     

  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    26,477
    23,267
    836
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
    Many of us in the north put pumpkins or squash into the run, and let the birds work on them at their leisure. They like them best when they've been through multiple freeze/thaw cycles so they turn to mush. They simply peck a hole in them, and keep at it till the whole thing is gone. I don't know how that will work for you without the great advantage we have with our polar weather!!!!

    Maybe, if you have freezer space, you could cut it up into wedges, and freeze it, giving them one chunk at a time.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2016
  3. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    19,405
    4,323
    516
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Pumpkin will soften without being frozen. Just bust it and they will go to work on it. Mine also eat the seeds without trouble.
     
  4. Dmontgomery

    Dmontgomery Songster

    771
    413
    181
    Apr 1, 2014
    Longville, La
    [​IMG]
    Obviously we did something wrong. I guess they only like really fresh pumpkins. We had some we used at the church fall festival and then as decorations in the sanctuary. They were about 3 weeks old when we brought them home for the chickens. They pecked at them a little, then ignored them. I expected the type of reaction we get when we throw out watermelon for them. After 4 days of little interest, I moved them out to the edge of the woods. Maybe the pumpkins will attract some insects for them later.
     
  5. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    19,405
    4,323
    516
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    Consumption of pumpkins by my birds is a function of overall diet. If diet already lean on protein then pumpking nor as readily consumed. If high on protein, then carbohydrates be of pumpkin more interesting.
     
  6. ShanandGem

    ShanandGem Songster

    717
    112
    113
    Feb 16, 2016
    I find they like them way more if you cook them first.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    26,477
    23,267
    836
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE zone 4B
    If the pumpkins were commercially grown, that may be why. Quite a few people have commented that their animals won't eat pumpkins grown for fall decoration. I wonder if they are laced with insecticides or some such thing to make them unpalatable. When I cook a squash, I usually cook it in the skin. The birds then get all of the guts, as well as the cooked skin. Dog and chickens split the cooking water. Nothing goes to waste.
     

  8. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    13,154
    8,304
    621
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    I grow tons of different varieties of squash, including pumpkin, and store them in my crawl space. All winter, I feed from this stash. Large squash such as hubbard and pumpkin do not get eaten all at once. There is no danger of the squash going bad over several days.

    More likely it will dry out and the chickens will lose interest. It takes moisture and weeks for squash to mold. You don't want to feed moldy squash.
     
  9. Red-Stars-in-RI

    Red-Stars-in-RI Songster

    145
    169
    131
    Mar 24, 2014
    Rhode Island
    Mine will eat pumpkin or butternut regardless, but do prefer them cooked. I think it makes it a bit easier for them to break apart and eat. Probably tastes a bit better, as well.
     
  10. tinakevin

    tinakevin Songster

    416
    132
    121
    Nov 1, 2015
    New hampahire
    I put a good size whole pumpkin in my run. I figured it would give them something to do. I noticed they had punctured a few holes in it and then by the end of a week it was totally gone. They absolutely loved it
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by