As we know, there’s not much study done on anything in the chicken world. Since commercial egg farms and meat birds never need a treatment for disease, no one has found the need to spend millions of dollars on a study just to satisfy us backyard flock keepers. Listening to old advice from early chicken keepers, along with staying up to date on the new things is where I learn from, not much so a commercial company. Of course I read up on studies done by vets, but even through all of that, I couldn’t find much study on anything natural. Herbs, pumpkins, and other natural treatments is my path, no matter how many people might say otherwise. Anyways, let’s get into pumpkins and other fall wormers your flock will love.
Just what Does Pumpkins and Squash do for Chickens?
Anything in the Cucurbitaceae family is good for worming your chickens. The seeds are covered with cucurbitacin, which paralyzes worms in the body. The larger the fruit or vegetable, the higher amounts of cucurbitacin they contain, which is why I choose pumpkin seeds for my worming. As I mentioned earlier, not much study has been done, and pumpkins aren’t an effective treatment for worms, but more as a preventive measure. Not only that, but with no harmful side effects to chickens makes another great health booster in my opinion. If you do suspect worms, bringing a fecal sample to a vet would be the best route.
It’s the pumpkin and squash seeds that are really beneficial, but my flock loves to eat the outer part of the pumpkin and the pulp as well. For worming, I either cut a pie pumpkin in half and let the chickens go at it, or I use these recipes for an extra worming boost. One I found in Chickens Magazine, and the other one is from Fresh Eggs Daily. They both have similar ingredients, making me a believer as more and more people are gravitating to the natural side.
Fall Worming Recipes
This first one is from an earlier issue of Chickens Magazine. The original recipe is enough for 4-5 hens, but as I have more than that, I doubled mine to serve 8-9 hens. You can double the recipe as many times as you need for how many hens you have, or cut it in half for a smaller flock.
- 1 pie pumpkin, pulp and seeds
- 2 cups raw oats (old-fashioned, rolled, quick, or steel-cut.)
- 2 tablespoons molasses (I use black strap molasses as it is lower in sugar content and a thicker substance than first or second molasses)
Blend all of the ingredients into a food processor and scoop back into the pumpkin halves, like bowls. You can put both halves out for a week, or serve one and save the other. When worming, worm for one week for added benefits.
This next recipe is actually from Fresh Eggs Daily. It’s her pumpkin soup recipe, and the ingredients are similar to the first recipe.
- 1 bulb fresh garlic
- 2 cups raw old-fashioned oats
- 1 carrot
- Seeds and pulp from one pie pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons black strap molasses
- Plain Yogurt
Blend all ingredients, adding enough yogurt to get a soupy consistency, but too runny. Pour into each pumpkin half and the chickens at it! You can serve this for a week or switch with the first recipe.
As you can see, making these isn’t difficult to do, and your chickens will live a good treat. Even if you just cut a pumpkin open and let them eat it, they still get the good benefits from the seeds, and they love the pulp! What’s good is they’ll even eat the pumpkin “bowls” as well, then you won’t have to dirty a pan for them to eat out of. It’s like those straws you can eat once your done with them…
I hope this will help you worm your chickens this fall! They certainly will enjoy it, and it will be good for them as well! Remember, this is a preventive measure, not a treatment, and if you do suspect worms (yes, I’m going to repeat this, bring a fecal sample to a vet. Even a dog or cat vet should be able to tell if there’s a worm overload, which would be the only time a commercial wormer would be necessary. The reason I’m against commercial wormers is that there’s a withdrawal period and they aren’t meant for chickens who lay eggs for people to eat. Sometimes after using a commercial wormer, you can’t eat the eggs ever again, or for a number of weeks. Unless you know what color egg that hen lays, all eggs are going to have to be tossed for safety. I’m just going to stick to my pumpkins over here lol. But anyways, I hope you enjoyed and I would love to see you all share about your pumpkin recipes on Instagram!
Dancing with Chickens