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Infinite are the arguments of chicken keepers


It’s that time of year again: the time when hippie chicken keepers claim that pumpkin is a natural chicken de-wormer. According to this bomb thrown into the Keeping Poultry at Home forum, probably not. Though, having read the article, I think the most you can say is not proven. Still, everyone’s chickens love pumpkins, so why not?

Except mine. My flock has an irrational fear of large, frightening vegetables. I hung a cabbage in their run once (a thing you’re supposed to do to keep them amused) and they didn’t come out of the henhouse for three days. Until I made the horrible thing go away.

A big orange beachball puking seeds would probably give them avian PTSD.


Comment from Uncle Al
Time: October 11, 2016, 8:30 pm

Given your flock’s “irrational fear of large, frightening vegetables,” if you want them to eat pumpkin why not just whack that gourd with a shovel once or twice? A pile of pieces and globs of innards/seeds might not be so intimidating. Or am I missing something?

Comment from LesterIII
Time: October 11, 2016, 9:10 pm

Do you use food-grade DE (diatomaceous earth), Sweasy? I know several chookineers that put it in their scratch and in occasional food. Widely used with all sorts of livestock and pets to prevent and de-worm, should be readily available.

If you have need for an ABSOLUTELY AFE arachnid and insect prevention and treatment for your home, this is the stuff. Friend got rid of bedbugs this way. Ground up fossilized remains of diatoms. Safe around pets and humans, just don’t get it in your eyes as it is irritating. The micro-structure of the particles attacks exoskeletons. Can be used in the garden, but is indiscriminate killer of insects so don’t apply to bloom areas. Works great on growing veggies.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 11, 2016, 10:11 pm

I certainly do, Lester. Wouldn’t be without it. Sprinkle it in the run, dust it over their food from time to time. It’s the bomb.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: October 12, 2016, 12:57 pm

Somebody told me that canned pumpkin is a good remedy for diarrhea in cats. That may be true, but try to get the furry little thugs to eat it. I dipped meat sticks *, which my two love, in the canned pumpkin, and they ignored both.

* “Meat sticks,” I like to tell people, is the cats’ affectionate name for “mice.”

Comment from MikeW
Time: October 12, 2016, 5:19 pm

Hey Swease,

If some of the soil near your hen house is loose, perhaps you could bury a small pumpkin, with only a small amount of it protruding from the ground. That way they could scratch and peck on it and feel superior to the ‘short’ round blob. After a day or two, dig it up and re-bury with more exposed.

By the way, do chickens see in color or monochrome?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 12, 2016, 7:21 pm

Very much in color, MikeW. In fact, they see greens as subdued and red/oranges as super vivid.

Hence the red combs and wattles having such social significance.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: October 13, 2016, 2:47 pm

Chicken cam. You need a 24 hour 7 day a week chicken cam. Live streaming around the world. Chickens are very entertaining and no one else has done it. I love the Goatslive guy. He has 15 cameras set up and an errant chicken who wants to be a goat and lives in the goat pen. She is very amusing and has attempted many coups trying to take over the pen. You could make big bucks. You would be a Chicken Impresario. Thinks about it.

Comment from BJM
Time: October 13, 2016, 6:33 pm

@Wolfus – Yes, pumpkin is a very effective antidiarrheal, however most cats refuse it. Small curd cottage cheese works equally well and my cats love it.

Our many dogs throughout the years have lapped up pumpkin with zeal…I don’t even have to moosh it up in their chow.

A couple of weeks ago I harvested a half dozen butternut squash and put them on the table in the screened porch. A while later I noticed orange crumbles on the floor from the dog door trailing down the hall…right to our year old Springer Spaniel’s bed. He was just polishing off the solid end.

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