Did you know that pumpkin seeds (and to some extent, the flesh) have anti parasitic properties in ruminants? Our sheep always come running when they see the tasty round orbs in my hands as I approach their fields. I admit, it’s super satisfying to watch them explode across the ground as I toss them into the field, too!
Our sheep aren’t the only ones who enjoy the pumpkins, though. Our chickens and ducks do too, and I’ve broken up more than one squabble as the hens have fought over the perfect pumpkin seed or strand of pumpkin guts. Our turkey, however, cannot be bothered by treat-like morsels this morning. He is too busy professing his love to one of the Cochin hens, strutting about and poofing up like a love-struck teenager. Poor chap, I’m not sure if it’s more sad that he’s crossed in love, or that his days are numbered in general.
One other form of natural parasite control that we use is pine needles, and the sheep get branches from our windbreak weekly throughout the winter. For now, though, I find myself begging and bartering for leftover pumpkins and squash into the depths of the fall season.
Have you ever used a natural form of parasite control for your livestock or pets?