Pumpkin Seeds for Chickens — Do the Seeds Stop Worms?
Should You Depend on Pumpkin Seeds for Worming Chickens?
Reading Time: 4 minutes
Pumpkin seeds for chickens can serve a purpose as part of a nutritious chicken diet. You might be surprised to read that pumpkins seeds do not contribute what you have been told! Before we get into that information, here is some general knowledge of the dietary requirements of your flock.
Chickens have certain nutritional requirements just as we do. Free-ranging chickens are good at foraging through your property, snapping up insects, greens, and weeds to meet their needs. Protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals can be found in nature. Chicken keepers also supplement with a purchased grain-based feed that is specifically formulated for chicken nutritional needs.
Chickens are Omnivores
When chickens are kept in a coop and attached run set-up, you can bring in supplemental nutrition in the form of garden trimmings, weeds, worms, produce, and dairy from your refrigerator. Vitamin deficiencies are less common in chickens because they are omnivores. Not only will they react with glee to a pile of garden trimmings or kitchen scraps, they will also willingly devour a snake or a mouse.
Vitamin Deficiencies in Chickens
Vitamin deficiencies are more likely to present in chickens fed only a lower quality commercial food. A bag of commercial chicken food degrades over time and loses freshness. Vitamins have a shelf life and lose potency during storage. Make sure to use a fresh chicken feed, formulated for their stage of life.
Signs of vitamin A deficiency, for example, might include rough dry skin, inflamed eye membranes, unkempt ruffled feathers, sores in the mouth, and a pale comb and wattles. In addition, lower egg production occurs because the hen is lacking proper nutrition.
Weakened Chickens are Prone to Parasite Problems
A weakened chicken is more prone to parasite infestation, both external and internal, such as mites and intestinal worms. We are getting closer to explaining why pumpkin seeds for chickens are a good idea. But hold on because I still think the answer will surprise you.
Continuing to use vitamin A as an example, a chicken suffering from vitamin A deficiency is unhealthy. One of the ways we keep our flocks healthy is by supplementing their diets by adding good nutritious foods. Garlic, apple cider vinegar, oregano, and pumpkin seeds for chickens all contain large doses of probiotics, vitamins, and minerals. These superfoods contribute to an overall healthy immune system and digestive tract.
Ready for the news flash?
How to Release Anthelmintic Properties of Pumpkin Seeds
While they are awesome foods that contribute to a healthy body and organ systems, they are not capable of performing anthelmintic actions as fed. Feeding pumpkin seeds for chickens is not an effective dewormer. This is especially important to remember if the chickens are already suffering from a parasite infestation. A truly effective dewormer from pumpkin seeds needs to be prepared as a tincture. Preparing a tincture from pumpkin seeds draws out the properties that expel parasites from the intestinal tract.
What pumpkin seeds for chickens does is contribute lots of vitamin A which helps build a healthy chicken. Having a healthy digestive tract makes a chicken more resistant to all sorts of illnesses. Kale, pumpkins and seeds, cantaloupe, broccoli, dandelion greens, coriander, and peppermint are good choices.
Choosing Between Natural and Chemical Dewormers
I understand the desire to treat and prevent parasites by using natural methods. When you purchase a chemical deworming product from the store, you are facing a lengthy egg withdrawal time. Using a natural product to prevent and treat worms includes no egg withdrawal time. What can you do naturally to reduce the presence of worms in your flock? Feeding pumpkin seeds for chickens will add nutrition and you can also make a tincture that will prevent or treat intestinal worm issues.
Black walnut tincture is a simple safe and effective worming liquid for animals and humans. Adding raw pumpkin seeds to the extraction mixture increases the power of the dewormer. This is the best way to use pumpkin seeds for chickens as a remedy for intestinal worms.
Preparing a Natural Deworming Tincture for Chickens
The following is an alcohol-based tincture. To reduce the amount of alcohol being given to the flock, make a dual tincture using both black walnut hulls and raw pumpkin seeds. The ration is 2:10 as follows.
- 1 ounce of black walnut hulls
- 1 ounce of raw pumpkin seeds
- 10 ounces of vodka
Place all three ingredients in a quart glass canning jar with a lid. Mix gently and place out of direct sunlight. Gently shake the jar weekly for at least six weeks.
When the tincture is ready, after a few weeks, add a half (½) teaspoon to each gallon of water. Make sure that the dosage is applied to all waterers. Repeat daily for five days. Repeat the dosing again after two weeks. Treat monthly or as needed.
Offer Fresh Pumpkin and Other Fruits and Vegetables to Your Flock
Pumpkins supply large amounts of nutrients to our chickens and livestock. The beta carotene transforms into vitamin A. Pumpkin also provides fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and some of the B complex vitamins. The seeds are high in fat and calories.
Fall is the perfect time to mix up a batch of black walnut and pumpkin seed tincture. Both the black walnuts and raw pumpkin seeds are readily available. Your flock can enjoy the remaining pumpkin and seeds as a nutritional treat. Feed your flock a fresh, high-quality diet along with supplements of fresh veggies, and watch them thrive! Build healthy chickens and have fewer parasite issues too.
Originally published in the October/November 2020 issue of Backyard Poultry and regularly vetted for accuracy.