Help Animals With Your Pumpkin Leftovers
Now that Halloween is over, are you wondering what you can do with your pumpkin? Don’t throw it away! Here’s a few options to help your local animals…
Feed it to your local wildlife
As long as your pumpkin is fresh, and entirely free of mould and candle wax, you could feed it to small wildlife, including foxes, squirrels, and badgers. Make sure it’s chopped up small and placed in an accessible place.
Birds also enjoy pumpkin, including the seeds and pumpkin innards, so you can leave it out for them too. Another option is filling the pumpkin with your normal bird food like a feeder – especially if there are faces carved in from Halloween night, so they can get access easily.
Leaving out the leftovers as food is a great option, as many animals need food as the seasons change. However, hedgehogs shouldn’t eat pumpkins, so if they are especially likely to eat it from your garden, consider putting on a bird table for the smallest animals only.
Give the pumpkin to chickens or pigs
If you keep farm animals yourself, you can give pumpkin to your pigs or your chickens. As long as it’s fresh, the fruit will be a nice treat. If you know anybody else who keeps pigs or chickens, give it to them if they’ll take it.
If you know of anywhere that would like your pumpkin, you can donate it. Such places include farms, zoos, animal charities, or gardeners. If there is a farm, or farmyard animal charity, close to you, give them a call as they might take your pumpkin. The same goes for zoos, although if they don’t want or refuse to take it, don’t just throw it away.
If your pumpkin is mushy or mouldy, or covered in candle wax from Halloween, it’s best to compost it. This is more beneficial to the environment than sending it to landfill with your normal waste. If there is someone you know with a compost heap, they will probably be happy to have the pumpkin.
A method of composting that doesn’t require an established compost heap is to bury the chopped-up fruit under the soil. That way, it will break down and benefit the soil – whilst also offering some nutrients to insects and worms. The seeds may even grow again next year (if you don’t choose to remove them), meaning burying the pumpkin might be a good activity for families.
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