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Pumpkins for Poultry

(And other animals!)

Fall is a great time for treats on the Homestead. There is apparently something about dead leaves that goats, sheep and rabbits alike just cannot get enough of. The pastures and runs are cleaned out as fast as the leaves can fall from the trees. Even the reachable ones outside the pens!

It is right after Halloween that things really look up for the eternally-hungry. Extra pumpkins, zucchini and Jack-o-Lanterns that have fulfilled their purpose are dropped off by friends, family and neighbors for the animals to enjoy. The birds come running, the rabbits come hopping and the goats come hollering for everyone else to get out of the way!

#39 - our oldest ewe - was a pleasant surprise this year. Between her age and her difficult pregnancy this spring, it is sometimes hard to get her to eat enough. When this Jack-o-Lantern came over the fence though, she was on it. None of the other ewes were allowed near it and by the time she was done, only a small fragment of the shell remained. And this was a big pumpkin!

Queen Mum is our herd queen and also quite old. She has been really annoyed with us lately because she's had to babysit the lambs and kid while everyone else has off being bred and made it very clear that bribery was not going to work. Well, not well anyway...

But maybe she'll have a nibble... just to see what we're offering.

Oddly, she ended up not liking the fresh pumpkin at all! When next I can through she has abandoned it for a piece of old, leathery skin the other animals had left behind!

Rabbits and chickens alike love pumpkin season as well. They all have different tastes - some of the chickens will only eat the innards and some of the rabbits just plain don't like it at all. On average though, the opinion seems to be, food is good!

The best of the birds to watch though is definitely the geese... Who knew they thought they were raccoons!?

Back down to the sheep yard, the final pumpkins went to Goddard and his Ladies. Again, tastes varied here and some were only passingly interested. The rest? Well... See for yourselves...

Happy critters!

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