I bet you’ve never used your leftover Thanksgiving front porch decorations this way!!!

It all started with one of my hens losing a bunch of tail feathers. Her poor hiney was embarrasingly exposed! I was quite alarmed! What could be happening? Was it a fungus? Was it because she was brooding? Was it a mite infestation? Were they fighting amongst themselves out of boredom or just establishing a pecking order?

I “googled” all possible causes and cures from not enough vitamins to unsanitary conditions. I dropped oregano oil each day into their drinking water and fed them fresh oregano from my garden to fight off a fungus. I fed them fresh comfrey leaves, which they loved, to doctor a possible stomach virus. I fed them broccoli and swiss chard leaves to amp up their vitamins. I was in the habit already of cleaning out their coop everyday, so cleanliness was not an issue.

After addressing all angles, I finally decided that they were bored and needed something else to peck at and it sure wouldn’t hurt to amp up their nutrition.

We were enjoying thanksgiving at my sister’s where she always has her garden and home seasonaly decorated with understated elegance. I suddenly got a visual of how I could solve my chicken problem after noting several pumpkins strategically placed on my sister’s front and back porches. What if I used leftover pumpkins as a feeding receptacle and toy where my hens could poke their heads into a pumpkin and peck at the seeds and flesh inside? I asked my sister what she was going to do with her pumpkins, She said, “bake some and throw the rest into the compost pile!”

So I absconded with several and carted them home! I first cut jagged holes in their sides almost like a jack-0-lantern, but more haphazard and large enough for a hen’s head to fit comfortably.  My ladies loved their leftovers and took to it right away!

Problem solved: pecking order bullies are distracted and leave the runt alone, nutrition is elevated, and the leftover pumpkin becomes a game for bored chickens!

By the way, after the pumpkin collapsed from excessive pecking, I threw it into my own compost pile. Recycle, reuse, and solve a problem, all from Thanksgiving leftover pumpkins!

Who benefited from your Thanksgiving leftovers ?

There seems to be a pecking order of things

I see it every where and in every way!

One person feels they have to have it!

In their pecking order kind of way!

They bully their way into spaces

where you may have wanted to be.

But when you get to where it is you were going

It really wasn’t that important for you to be.

Linda Winchell

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