Smashing Pumpkins (no, not the band)

For most people, Halloween means carving pumpkins. For us, it means smashing pumpkins. A local farmer raises pumpkins for the season, but what does he do, post-Halloween, with the ones that don’t sell or the ones that are blemished or oddly-shaped? We back our pickup into his pumpkin patch, and fill it full of pumpkins. (Lots of shepherds have pumpkin suppliers, but most of us guard the information jealously to ensure we continue to get our pumpkin fix.)

Why is a shepherd interested in pumpkins?

Sheep love pumpkins. No, that’s not quite right, so let me restate that: Sheep LOVE pumpkins.

They don’t have the dental skills to gnaw through the tough rind, so we help out by smashing the pumpkins for them. How’s that for spoiled sheep?

Two of our tame ewes request that I smash a pumpkin for them.

I comply.


Other ewes catch on, and just as I’m prepared for a forceful smash, three ewes crowd around me for a pumpkin treat, and there’s no room for smashing!

Sheep aren’t known for sharing, but it happens now and then.

That’s it. I’m done smashing for the day. Gotta get on with things.

So next year, gather up your neighborhood’s pumpkins, drive out to the country, find some sheep, ask the shepherd’s permission, then smash those pumpkins. It’s very satisfying. Melissa and I love smashing the pumpkins almost as much as our sheep love eating them.

6 thoughts on “

  1. Chickens love pumpkins, too! I gave them a buffet of 3 I had carved for Halloween. Does your llama like them, too? (And I have to break them for the chickens too, they leave just the shell when they are finished…)


  2. Our llamas don’t really get into the pumpkins. Imagine a cat sitting back, aloof, watching a bunch of dogs make fools of themselves over a bone.

    This is the look on the llamas’ faces when the sheep go crazy for the pumpkins.

    Although it is conceivable that the llamas might nibble a bit when no one’s watching!

  3. Goats also LOVE pumkins! I have a handful of does with “pumpkin experience” and they can chew a hole into a pumpkin that fails to explode when tossed into their pen. My younger ones are learning, and the bucks tend to get frustrated and roll it around like a ball. Boys think they can solve any problem by head-butting it!

  4. My sheep LOVE pumpkins too!! We round up pumpkins that didn’t sell and the stores, smash them, and give the gals a treat. We always tell them (the sheep) that we are smashing the pumpkins because they’re special! They believe it!

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