Do the ghosts and goblins of Halloween have you feeling a little … chicken?
Don’t despair; this year, turn gourds and pumpkins into a three-dimensional fall decoration that will rival any old-fashioned Jack-o’-Lantern carving. Or carve the famous Community Chicken (templates included below)! Carve, paint, or etch a pumpkin chicken, share photos with us, and you could even win a year’s subscription to Mother Earth News or Grit magazine!
Enter using the form below! Hurry, you only have until Nov. 5, 2017, to submit your photos!
We had an awesome pumpkin harvest this year at Iron Oak Farm. We grew many varieties of heirloom gourds and squash and the plants were abundant and produced tons of large beautiful fruits.
I’ve been having a lot of fun this fall decorating our front porch, and home with our bounty. (To read more about the heirloom pumpkins at Iron Oak Farm, visit our blog or Facebook page.)
The chickens have been having fun as well devouring the pumpkins little by little. One will start pecking the skin, then before I know it, there’s a hole and a whole group of chickens is eating the seeds and flesh.
Our bumpy pumpkins seem to be extra fun for them, as they enjoy pecking the warts off the skin.
I’ve let them be, as pumpkins are a healthy treat for chickens, and we have so many to share this year.
All of this chicken/pumpkin interaction got me thinking of some creative ways to incorporate chickens into our Halloween fun!
The birdhouse gourd and swan neck gourd’s natural shape reminded me of a fat little hen, so I went with it!
Here’s how to make a Pumpkin Chicken for your front porch!
You will need:
– a birdhouse gourd
– 3 Jack-Be-Little pumpkins
– a small to medium-sized pumpkin
– skewer sticks
– heavy square toothpicks
– pumpkin carving knife or serrated knife
– two small acorns
Cut a wedge shape from a section of smaller pumpkin.
This variety has deep ridges that resemble the arched tail feathers of a chicken. Clean the section of seeds and fibrous material. Use a broken skewer stick to attach the tail to the back of the Birdhouse gourd.
The wings are made from a single Jack-Be-Little. Slice each side off on either side of the stem. Clean the seeds and attach to either side of the gourd with a broken skewer stick.
From another Jack Be Little, slice a wedge following the outline of the riges in the pumpkin. Cut this thin piece in half and you have the beak.
Attach with a broken skewer.
From the same Jack Be Little, slice a wedge of two ridges. You don’t have to go all the way through the pumpkin this time. Then slice this horizontally into the center. Attach with a toothpick.
With the other half of that same Jack Be Little, cut the top half off in the same way you did the wattle. Attach with a toothpick.
With the third Jack Be Little, carve two sections each containing two ridges. Slice a “V” into the wedges to separate the toes. Attach the feet with toothpicks.
You can be creative with the eyes. Use black pom poms or those plastic wiggle eyes found at craft stores. I was going for a “natural” fall theme, so I used two small acorns. I used a serrated knife to create two holes just large enough to wedge the acorns in place.
You can download the Community Chickens logo and carve it, as Phillip Earhart did here.
FREE COMMUNITY CHICKENS LOGO PUMPKIN TEMPLATE:
Instructions: Tape the template to your pumpkin, and use a small screwdriver or knife to poke holes (like connect the dots) along the chicken’s edges. Remove the paper and carve to connect the dots.
There are many different combinations of gourds and pumpkins that could be arranged into a chicken shape.
Below are some entries from previous years:
Enter the Community Chickens Pumpkin Decorating Contest! And Happy Halloween from Community Chickens!