After all of the effort you put into carving your jack-o’-lantern, chucking it on the trash heap come November 1 is kind of a let-down. That’s why this adorable video caught our eye as a genius way to repurpose your gourd. It turns out chickens love pumpkin just as much as people do (no word on their feelings about PSLs though). Crazimals shared a clip from Kathi Dennis Atienza of a happy flock pecking away at a pre-scored Halloween pumpkin, quickly carving out the features with their sharp beaks. “What do you get when you cross hungry, pumpkin-loving chickens and an owner that’s too lazy to carve a messy jack-o’-lantern?” she wrote. “Answer: Happy hens, fall decor and delicious eggs. It’s a WIN! WIN!”
Even if you’re keen to carve, it’s a smart way to dispose of your carefully-crafted pumpkin after trick-or-treating ends. Just make sure you check for any signs of mold and rot, and cut off yucky parts before putting it by the coop. Countryside Daily also advises breaking the gourd into chunks first to help out the hens.
Some chicken keepers even say the seeds work as a natural dewormer, but poultry veterinarians debate that claim. One thing is for sure: Chickens definitely love the healthy snack packed with Vitamin A and C. If you’re worried about giving your chickens some pumpkin, always check with a veterinarian you trust for some advice!
If you’re sans hens, there are plenty of other ways to recycle your pumpkin too. You can compost it as free fertilizer, or wash and roast the seeds for the birds. Some zoos, farms and rescue centers will accept pumpkins as an animal treat, or you can turn a gourd into another piece of seasonal decor. Just tuck a vase of flowers inside a hollowed-out rind for a cute centerpiece. And of course you can always chop up a fresh, uncarved pumpkin and eat it yourself. With pumpkin pie season coming up, it’s a very tempting offer. (Sorry, chickens!)